The Skintel Melanin Reader determinines the average melanin density of skin—in a quantitative manner—prior to energy-based aesthetic treatment, such as hair removal or skin renewal. Understanding how much melanin is in the skin helps you better choose the treatment settings on our systems for enhanced outcomes, while minimizing risk of over-treatment.

For use with the Palomar Icon™ Aesthetic System and the Vectus™ Laser  the Skintel reader provides suggested test spot settings based on the individual’s Melanin Index value.

Until now, aesthetic treatment providers have primarily relied on fairly subjective tools to determine a client’s skin type, including the traditional Fitzpatrick Skin Type evaluation, observations of the client’s skin, and the client’s account of recent sun exposure.

How the Skintel Melanin Reader Works




The Skintel Melanin Reader measures the skin diffuse reflectance at three unique wavelengths of light. These values are computed into a Melanin Index value, which corresponds to a Skintel fluence as a suggestion for a starting test spot fluence.

The aesthetic treatment provider takes Skintel measurements on a section of skin within or near the area to be treated. An average of the measurements is sent to the Palomar system via a wireless connection.

The Palomar system then suggests a starting test spot fluence; the practitioner then uses clinical judgment to choose a starting test spot fluence, which may be the suggested Skintel fluence or a higher or lower fluence.


  • Light Source
  • Wavelengths
  • Measurement Area
  • Melanin Index Range
  • Accuracy
  • Measurement Time
  • AC Charger Power Requirements
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED)
  • 640 nm, 700 nm, 910 nm
  • 3 mm x 10 mm, 30 mm2
  • 0–99
  • +/- 5 MI
  • Less than one (1) second
  • 100 V–240 V, 50-60 Hz@1A
  • 1.2” x 2” x 8.5”, 3 cm x 5 cm x 21.5 cm
  • 125 g

Before & After

“Many of our patients are from varied genetic backgrounds, and it can be difficult to accurately assess Fitzpatrick skin type. I have found the Skintel reader to be a very precise, reproducible measurement of baseline melanin. It enhances a clinical assessment and sees melanin that our eyes don’t.”

Robert Weiss, MD
“I have been very impressed with results in hair removal and skin renewal utilizing Skintel reader suggested test parameters. I am most impressed with the ability to use much higher fluences with the R series handpieces in patients with browner skin tones.”

David Vasily, MD

Events & Media

On-Demand Webcasts

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Clinical Data

The Skintel™ Melanin Reader™ is the only FDA-cleared melanin reader, offering a quantitative method of measuring melanin content.

Peer Reviewed

  1. Skin Typing & Melanin Index Skintel Expert Roundtable Supplement <Link to: Dermatology Times®supplement>
  2. Victor Ross E.V, Vasily D, Cohen J, Weiss R, Green J, Kaufman J, Cerino M. 2012. Real-Time Melanin Measurements to Optimize Treatment Settings and Avoid Complications. American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.(Abstract)
  3. Dolotov L, Sinichkin Y, Tuchin V, Utz S, Altshuler G, Yaroslavsky I. 2004. Design and Evaluation of a Novel Portable Erythema Melanin Meter. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 34:127–135
  4. Anderson R, Manstein D, Altshuler G. 2002. Skin Pigmentation Index as a Predictive Parameter for Optimizing Laser and Light Treatments. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 117. (Abstract)
  5. Yaroslavsky I PhD, Childs J PhD, Altshuler G DSc PhD, Zenzie H MS, Cohen R PhD. 2012. Objective Measurement Devices for Melanin Optical Density: Dosimety for Laser and IPLs in Aesthetic Treatments. PMTI
  6. Doherty S MD, Cohen R PhD, Whitney F RN, Bradley O MD, (Ukraine), Seckel B MD. 2012. New Methods for Guidance of Light-Based Treatments Using Objective Melanin Measurements. PMTI.