VISIA System: A Possible Tool in the Cosmetic Practice openaccess articles

November 2014 | Volume 13 | Issue 11 | Editorials | 1312 | Copyright © 2014

Anne Goldsberry MD MBA, C. William Hanke MD MPH, Katherine E. Hanke
Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana, Carmel, IN


BACKGROUND: Dyspigmentation is a common complaint in the dermatology office.
OBJECTIVE: We also sought to evaluate whether the VISIA Complexion Analysis System (Canfield Imaging Systems, Fairfield, NJ) could be a tool to help patients better understand their skin complaints.
METHODS: Twenty-one consecutive women were recruited for VISIA analysis. Each subject underwent VISIA analysis and completed a follow up survey.
RESULTS: 86% of respondents reported that the VISIA analysis helped them understand their initial concern. 86% noted that the VISIA brought other skin problems to their attention. 100% of the subjects responded that they would recommend VISIA analysis to others. 62% of subjects responded that they would prefer to go to a practice with a VISIA system in comparison to a practice without VISIA.
CONCLUSION: The VISIA Complexion Analysis System is a beneficial tool for dermatology and aesthetic practices with the potential to aid in patient education.

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Many patients present to dermatologists with the complaint of dyspigmentation. This is a broad term, which includes disorders of melanin deposition, disorders of superficial vasculature, and disorders of both. Examples of melanin deposition include lentigines and post-inflammatory pigmentation. Examples of disorders of the superficial vasculature include telangiectasias, spider angiomas and rosacea. A combination of melanin deposition and prominent vasculature is found in dermatoheliosis. In order to evaluate these diseases, dermatologists have developed qualitative or semi -quantitative tests such as the melasma area and severity index (MASI).1 These tools have been used most commonly to evaluate efficacy of treatment for dyspigmentation and the effects of skin conditions on quality of life. However, many of these analyses are cumbersome in a busy clinical practice and too abstract for patients. These scales have shown to be more relevant for research than for clinical applications.

The VISIA Complexion Analysis System (Canfield Imaging Systems, Fairfield, NJ, Figure 1) is a new device used to measure a patient’s dyschromia, and it is clinically applicable. The VISIA system generates a series of photographs using standard, ultraviolet and cross polarized lighting. The photographs provide a visual to patients that may help them understand their skin complaints. The system also analyzes the photographs to quantify the skin complaint and count the number of lesions, such a brown spots or dilated pores. The system further demonstrates how each subject’s findings compare to the skin type of aged matched controls and generates a percentile where the subject falls on the distribution.2-4 A similar system, the VISIA CR, has been used for research purposes.

table 1

VISIA uses standard flash lighting to identify spots, rhytides, texture and pore size (Figure 2, Table 1).3, 4 Spots are identified by their color and contrast from the surrounding skin, including freckles, acne scars, and vascular lesions. Rhytides are recognized by their long narrow shape. Of note, there can be variation in the measurement of rhytides based on facial expression. The standard lighting images can also assess the texture of the skin, reporting elevations and depressions on the skin surface. Finally, pore size is identified by focusing on the spots that are very small.4

table 2

Ultraviolet lighting is used to generate an ultraviolet spot image and a porphyrin image (Figure 2, Table 1). The ultraviolet lighting takes advantage of the selective absorption of ultraviolet light by epidermal melanin in comparison to deeper melanin,

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