Skin analysis is the first step in dermatology. Doctors diagnose most skin conditions by looking at them, and treatment plans flow directly from diagnosis.

Sounds simple, right? But it’s not. Skin is a complex, multilayered organ, and most conditions begin below the surface, where your doctor cannot easily see them using ordinary light.

What you see depends on the light available. Simple daylight — or worse, the harsh fluorescent lighting typically used in commercial offices — may not provide clinicians with the ideal lighting they need to reach a complete and accurate diagnosis of your skin condition.

That’s why we always begin patient care with a free comprehensive skin assessment. Our Medical Laser Clinician, Ildikó Juhasz, uses an advanced skin analysis system, which provides the full range of lighting necessary to see every skin condition.

Let’s take a closer look at the capabilities of the skin analysis system to see how they work for you.

Eight Light Modes for Skin Analysis

The system has eight light modes, and Ildikó uses every one in a comprehensive skin assessment. She begins with an appearance analysis, which uses four light modes — Daylight, Surface Texture, Pigmentation, and Redness.

Skin care analysis in daylight mode


Daylight mode provides a good view of your skin’s upper surface. It reveals superficial issues like wrinkles, eye bags, skin tags, and milias (dead skin cells trapped under new skin).

Surface Texture

Surface Texture mode reveals rough and bumpy skin, dry lines, and comedones (the dermatological term for acne).

Skin care analysis texture mode


Pigmentation mode reveals irregularities in skin colour, such as freckles, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and melasma.

You’d think pigmentation irregularities would be visible by natural light, but that’s not always the case, as this photo reveals.

It’s important for Ildikó to get a complete picture of your skin’s pigmentation because it helps her plan the right treatment.

Hyperpigmentation suggests inflammation. Melasma can result from normal hormonal irregularities or sun exposure; when it results from sun exposure, it can be a sign of future sun damage. Spotting pigmentation issues early helps Ildikó plan the right course of treatment — or better yet, prevention.


Redness mode reveals conditions related to your skin’s vascularity, or blood supply. Common vascular conditions include broken capillaries, and spider veins.

Redness mode also reveals tear troughs, which are creases between the lower eyelid and upper cheek. Some people feel their tear troughs make them look old or tired. If you’re concerned about this issue, ask Ildikó or Dr. Alanen about a dermal filler.

Subsurface Skin Analysis

When the Daylight, Surface Texture, Pigmentation, and Redness examinations are complete, Ildikó performs a subsurface skin analysis, which uses four light modes — Parallel Polarized, Cross Polarized, True Ultraviolet, and Wood’s.

Parallel Polarized

Parallel Polarized mode reveals many of the same skin irregularities as Surface Texture mode.

In this mode, rough texture, bumpy skin, dry lines, and acne all come sharply into view, but with a different emphasis. This light mode provides Ildikó with additional visual information about skin conditions detected in Surface Texture mode.

In addition, subtle, depressed scars become visible in Parallel Polarized mode. This information can be extremely useful. Revoderm’s Advanced Scar Gel with Silicone can promote healing and minimize the appearance of scars, even old ones.

Cross Polarized

Cross Polarized mode reveals many of the same skin conditions as Redness mode, along with some additional ones.

As with Redness mode, Cross Polarized mode reveals tear troughs, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and spider veins.

In addition, Cross Polarized mode also reveals couperosis, which results from a network of small dilated blood vessels. This condition is similar to rosacea, except that it is mostly hereditary, although it can become aggravated by hormones or environmental factors.

True Ultraviolet

True Ultraviolet mode reveals melasma, sun damage, thin skin, acne, and other blemishes.

One condition frequently revealed by True Ultraviolet mode is melasma, a pigmentation disorder. The precise cause of melasma is unknown, but it seems to be triggered by sun exposure.

We can help you with this condition at Derm. We can also help you prevent melasma or slow its progression, using a sunscreen like Revoderm’s Zinc Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 with Antioxidants.

Wood’s Mode

Wood’s mode uses long-wave ultraviolet light that causes bacterial or fungal infections to fluoresce. It is named after its inventor, the physicist Robert Wood.

Normal, healthy skin looks blue in Wood’s mode. Thick skin looks white, oily skin looks yellow, and dehydrated skin looks purple.

Find out what’s really going on with your skin. Have it examined under the best possible light.