Counseling Systems

Counseling Systems

Applications and Methods

Interaction of light with human skin plays a major role in how the skin appears to the outside world whether it be radiant and translucent or dull and lusterless.

Depending on the light scattering and reflection of the various layers of the skin, numerous factors that influence the appearance of the skin can be detected and measured, such as secretion, texture, and complexion.

Skin Color (Skin Tone, Teint/Tint, Brightness)

Skin color is primarily determined by melanin, produced by melanocytes of the basal layer of the dermis. Melanin defines the degree of basic pigmentation, determined by genetics. In lighter skin types, the introduction of UV light influences color. A secondary contributor to skin color is the hemoglobin located in the blood capillaries of the dermis. It appears as a representative of blood perfusion and depends on the amount of oxygenated (red) and deoxygenated (blue) blood which can be influenced by temperature and emotions.

Determining skin color is an important factor in selecting matching make-ups as well as in whitening skin care. Reflected RGBY light measured by a photometric sensor is correlated to a given set of existing colors (e. g. foundation color chart).

Pigmentation (Blotchiness, Age Spots)

The genetically determined intrinsic degree of pigmentation can be influenced by external factors like free radicals and UV light, causing sun damage and spots, which can accelerate the normal aging process. This can influence the degree and distribution of melanin in the skin resulting in uneven pigmentation such as age spots.

Visible, later stage pigmentation can be seen under polarized light and early stage, barely visible spots can be seen best with UV light.

Skin Texture

Texture is the unevenness or smoothness of the skin that is evident in peaks and valleys. Evaluating the texture plays a very important role in skin counseling.

Skin Surface Pattern

The basic texture measurement is accomplished with white light. By evaluating the surface pattern of the peaks and valleys dividing the skin into tiny segments, homogeneity of the skin surface pattern can be determined.

Lines and Wrinkles

Natural aging due to collagen loss accelerated by sun damage and other extrinsic factors increases the amount of fine lines and severity of deep furrows on the skin's surface. Also imaged with white light, shape and depth of lines can be used to determine the degree of aging.

Moisture (Hydration, Skin Surface Moisture)

A key concern in cosmetic counseling is the determination of moisture in the corneal layer. Sufficient moisture makes the skin appear smooth, soft and supple. A lack of moisture can cause the skin to look dull and cracked, appearing older.

Surface skin moisture measurement is performed by a capacitive sensor. The higher the capacitance of the skin, the higher the resulting score and the more hydrated the skin is at the point of measurement.

Sebum (Oil, Skin Surface Lipid)

Sebum is a mixture of fatty acids, triglycerides, proteins, and other molecules produced by the sebaceous glands of the dermis. Sealing moisture in the corneal layer and preventing evaporation, sebum keeps hair and skin smooth and flexible. Excessive sebum production can cause clogged pores possibly resulting in blemishes.

Sebum can be determined by two different methods. It can be measured optically by a photometric sensor being placed directly onto the skin. Sebum increases the amount of light reflected from the skin which is collected by the sensor giving a relative value. Alternatively, it can be measured using a lipid-absorbing tape, which is is subject to optical image analysis giving an evaluation related to the age group.

Pores

Pores are the outlets of the sweat and sebaceous glands of the skin. Depending on the level of sebum production, the pores can be visibly enlarged. Clear, unclogged pores appear smaller, while pores that are clogged or blocked seem larger. Evaluating pore size and shape gives an indication of skin condition for future treatments.

Skin Surface Impurities

Depending on the amount of debris and other biological impurities such as bacteria on the skin surface, the skin's pores can become clogged leading to irritation, redness, and acne. The existence of porphyrins and severity of blemishes can be analyzed due to the fluorescence caused by UV light.

Keratin (Squames, Dead Cells, Flakiness, Cell Turnover)

The skin's corneal layer has a natural, consistent cell turnover cycle of approximately 28 days. The turnover rate as well as size and shape of keratin cells are an indicator of the skin's flakiness and condition. By means of an adhesive tape, loose keratin cells are removed from the corneal layer and evaluated based on size, shape, and count of dead cells.

Elasticity (Firmness)

Skin elasticity is determined by the elastin (elasticity) and collagen fibers (firmness) of the dermis. Due to aging and external factors, the elasticity of the skin deteriorates over time, leaving the skin appearing dull and saggy.

The elasticity sensor applies a unique measurement technique where a tiny sensor tip oscillates at a particular frequency and, when applied to the skin, will exhibit a change in the frequency reflecting the firmness of the skin. The greater the change in frequency, the more elastic the skin and higher the score.

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