A new method to determine optical properties of biological tissue, time-resolved stress detection (TRSD), was tested on albino rat skin, heated in vitro. The TRSD method is based on the detection of pressure waves that are generated by short laser pulses. The pressure waves carry information about the optical properties (absorption and effective attenuation coefficients) of the medium. The evaluation was done in a systematic way by comparing the results of the TRSD method with results obtained using an integrating sphere. Measurements for both methods were performed on the same skin samples to minimize biological variations. The TRSD method proved to be reasonably successful to determine optical properties of tissue for the used wavelength of 355 nm: (1) The effective attenuation coefficients of both methods agreed very well; (2) The TRSD method gave absorption coefficients of a factor 2 + 0.5 times higher than the integrating sphere method; and (3) The reduced scattering coefficients were sensitive to error.