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Skin Imaging

By: Steve Herman
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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According to Francis Friscia of International Research Services, “Quantifiable scientific validation is considered the gold standard of claim substantiation. The Clarity 2 Pro R&D bioinstrumentation allows us to supply that for over 25 skin parameters.” This columnist put his face to the test, getting an analysis of wrinkles, pigmentation and UV damage.

By itself, the high resolution camera shows scary details when enlarged, but it is nothing compared to UV images, redness report or pore analysis. Fortunately, at the end of the process is a “treated skin” photo which sheds decades off the subject’s face. The treated skin photo is where “hope in a jar” finds its source.

The skin parameters given qualitative form depend on brand and model: some basic categories are UV damage, complexion, skin radiance, redness (subsurface erythema), pigment, wrinkles, pores and acne. Photo 1 shows wrinkles with superimposed blue lines, Photo 2 is a pigment analysis. To achieve these images, five photos were taken with different light parameters and the results teased out with proprietary software. It is possible to have a specific program focused on lips: surface area, irregularity and definition of the vermilion border, horizontal and vertical lines. The vermilion border is the juncture between the lighter skin of the face and the redder tissue (vermilion) that is commonly called the lip. The vermilion is red because the skin is thin and there are numerous small blood vessels underneath it. A moustache, such as the authors’, will make an accurate measurement of the vermilion border impossible.

Besides producing a straightforward view of the face, eyes or lips, computer analysis can generate a 3-D model of the skin. This allows viewing skin texture and the depth and size of wrinkles in a visually compelling way.

Advanced research models contribute to medical diagnosis as well as establishing the efficacy of cosmeceuticals. The most refined medical models can analyze eight narrow band images from 400 nm to 1000 nm, combined with a complex computer algorithm to provide clinically significant data.