Modern Aesthetics | New in My Practice: Devices
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New in My Practice: Devices

By: Joel L. Cohen, MD


What is one of the newest devices in your practice?

The Skintel Melanin Reader from Palomar is a skin intelligence system that offers practitioners a quantitative method of measuring melanin content. I was involved in the original testing and have had it in my practice for about two years. We use the reader with the Palomar Icon Aesthetic System, and it aids the treatment process by providing suggested test spot settings based on the individual’s Melanin Index value.

How does it work?

The reader provides an additional element of treatment confidence by determining the average melanin density of skin, in a quantitative manner, prior to light-based aesthetic treatments such as hair removal or photorejuvenation. Understanding how much chromophore is in the skin, one can better choose the treatment settings on the Palomar Icon system for enhanced treatment outcomes, while minimizing risk of over treatment.

What has been your experience thus far?

Even for experienced physicians, we find it very useful in our practice. For instance, a patient may come to us and have a good response in October. But in January, right after they might get back from a beach vacation or start ski season, they may have a tan. I can take the patient’s Melanin Index value and can justify cancelling a procedure based on an objective value number compared to their baseline visit. If the values changed, for instance, from 14 to 21, then I can tell the patient that it is not particularly safe and there is too much target. I believe Skintel may make us more effective in establishing the sweet spot for treatment.

How are you using It in practice?

If patients come in with a lot of vessels, we can use the Skintel reading for vessels and focus on a range so we know where to start and gradually increase the settings as needed for resistant vessels. We also use it for treating lentigines, and focus on areas of Skintel readings for pigmentation and freckles. By placing the Skintel meter in the desired treatment field, the reading you obtain can be very helpful to get a suggested range of treatment settings for different pulse durations, with pulse durations being determined based on your target chromophore (vessels versus pigment).

Skintel also has been very effective when a new dermatologist joined our practice, who had a lot of experience with laser devices but not specifically Palomar devices. The Icon with Skintel gives an added sense of comfort when choosing settings. We have two locations and have Skintel in both locations on the Icon system. If one of us isn’t there that’s very experienced with Skintel, it gives the person who is using it a safety margin so they can feel better about using a range. It helps establish a sweet spot that’s very effective.