Skintel determines the average melanin density of the skin in a quantitative manner prior to energy-based aesthetic treatments, such as hair removal or skin revitalization. Understanding how much melanin is in the skin helps the practitioner better choose treatment settings for superior results, while minimizing the risk of over-treatment.

Until now, aesthetic treatment providers have primarily relied on old, fairly subjective tools to determine a client’s skin type, including the traditional Fitzpatrick Skin Type evaluation, observations of the patient’s skin, and the patient’s account of recent sun exposure. With Skintel, there is no more guessing.

How Skintel Works



  • Skintel measures the skin’s diffuse reflectance at three unique wavelengths of light.
  • These values are computed into a Melanin Index value that corresponds to a specific treatment fluence as a suggestion for a starting test spot.

Three Easy Steps

  1. The aesthetic treatment provider takes three Skintel measurements on a section of the skin within or near the area to be treated.
  2. Within seconds, an average of the measurements is sent wirelessly to the Cynosure system which provides a suggested starting test spot fluence. The provider can use their clinical judgement to adjust the fluence up or down.
  3. The system is ready to use and the provider can begin treatment.

Skintel is offered exclusively by Cynosure and is available on the Icon Aesthetic System and the Vectus® Laser.




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

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.