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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 6:19 pm on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , redness, , , ,   

    Maximize your good looks by making smart product choices! 

    Too many choices on the skincare aisle? Want to figure out what skin condition to target for maximal impact?

    Sure, there are some creams out there that really can even out your skin tone. But if your skin tone is already even, maybe that’s not the product for you.

    A dermatologist we consulted recently mentioned that a patient will often state his or her main affliction to be something other than what she would cite as the patient’s main cosmetic concern.   Bearing this in mind, we developed a free, private automatic skin analysis web-based tool.

    It’s easy to use;  just visit

    and upload a photo of your face.

    Your skin will be analyzed for acne, redness, hyperpigmentation including spots and freckles,  and fine lines and wrinkles.  Based on the analysis, you’ll be classified as one of the following:

    • Dolphin Smooth, even skin.. lucky you!
    • Leopard Adorable but speckled
    • Shar pei Fine lines and wrinkles are apparent
    • Cardinal Sensitive skin and redness
    • Sea Star Acne-prone skin

    We’ll give you a little information about the concern and show

    you a set of products that we think will give you the best bang for your skincare buck.


    Oh, and one more thing… rest assured that no one other than you will  have access to your photo. Ever!

    So, what skinimal are you? Find out today and take the first step toward dophinizing yourself!


  • Ellen Eide Kislal 11:07 am on July 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: decision support, options, , , software   

    Decisions, decisions! 

    Choices.  The cornerstone of the American lifestyle. Whether it’s choosing our President,  a career path, or an ice-cream flavor, we value the ability to choose.  Image

    Options? Yes please!

    But as the number  of options grows, making a decision starts becoming more difficult.  How do we know we’re making the BEST choice?  What if the mascarpone cherry rice pudding is actually better than the rum raisin rice pudding? (If you’ve ever been to Rice to Riches in NYC, you know what I mean!)   Are we missing out on something truly fabulous by choosing something that’s merely excellent?

    When faced with too many choices we don’t always have the time to look at all the information out there to make the best choice for our situation.

    I think this is true in skin care.  There are hundreds of products in the skin care aisle at the pharmacy.  Hundreds more at the cosmetics counter at the mall.  Not to mention on line.

    The number of options can be overwhelming and a bit confusing. “Is my skin red? Sensitive? Acne-prone?  Sun damaged?”  Honestly, it may be hard to tell. (Does an occasional pimple mean my skin is acne-prone or does it happen to everyone?)

    Toward that end, we’ve created a patent-pending skin analysis tool which can analyze a photo of your skin and tell you what condition is most prominent.  You’ll get guidance as to whether you’d be better off spending your money on an anti-redness product, an acne treatment, a skin-tone balancer, or an anti-wrinkle product.  It will help narrow the number of choices to a more manageable number.

    Options? Great!  Too many options?  Help!

    For more information on this service, please send a note to

    • Divine Grace 7:41 am on January 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow this beauty blog is simply amazing. It helps a lot of beauty aspirants like me with these rightful information you posted. Although beauty must be in terms of simplicity, it is still nice to improve one’s appearance.

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 4:36 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: iPhone app, , , smart phones   

    Here is a link to a slide show… 

    Here is a link to a slide show which gives a very brief overview of our iPhone app “Skin Of Mine” now available in the iTunes App Store

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 5:13 pm on April 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , teledermatology, telemedicine   

    Benefits of an Online Dermatology Consultation 

    There are a number of reasons why one might choose to submit a case to an online dermatologist or nurse practitioner licensed to diagnose, prescribe, and otherwise treat skin conditions in your state.  First, there’s the quick turn-around time.  Tried to get a traditional appointment with a dermatologist lately?  The average wait time nationwide is 38 days, but that nearly doubles to 73 days in Boston. With an online consultation, you can get an answer much faster; generally within 24 hours.

    Modesty is another concern.  Some people would prefer to submit a photo of certain areas rather than to show those areas in person. Not to mention safety. No concerns about acquiring a nasty skin condition while sitting around the dermatologist’s waiting room.

    Cost is certainly another factor.  Online consultations at vary in price, but are generally in the $30 to $50 range. Roughly the price of a co-pay, but for certain conditions not covered by insurance such as cosmetic issues, this can be a bargain.

    Finally, there’s the convenience and flexibility of having your consultation available 24/7.  No need to take time off from work, pay for gas or parking, or otherwise inconvenience yourself to access the healthcare system.

    What you will get is an entirely new way to interface with the nation’s traditional healthcare system. You can be diagnosed, written a prescription, given OTC recommendations and therapeutic advice, and alerted to helpful reading materials. Will this ever replace in-office visits completely? Of course not. (It’s really hard to do a biopsy remotely…) Handy from time to time? We think so.

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    • SWAGATA SAMANTA 10:46 am on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I am 38 yrs old lady
      I have melasma in my face
      I want a sunscreen
      I live in Kolkata(India)
      Plz mail me the appropriate sunscreen

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 11:07 am on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        hi Swagata,
        The American Academy of Dermatology has the following advice on their website
        “One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying the sunscreen every 2 hours. Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need.”
        For more specific advice tailored to your particular case, please consult with a dermatology professional, either in person or online via

    • yummy 2:13 am on November 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I am 30 yrs old. Pls what about melasma from pregnancy how would you advise i cleared that?

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 9:21 am on November 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        why don’t you take a photo of your condition and submit it for an online consultation.

      • Dr.Shanmugapriya 12:41 am on August 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Melasma occurring during pregnancy is due to hormonal changes.You can get a dermatologist consultation in person for getting melasma reduced through chemical peels.Do wear a sunscreen with SPF50+ four times a day with adequate physical protection like wearing broadbrimmed hat or using an umbrella.

    • sam 2:53 pm on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hello sir..i am male, 19 years old..i just had my wave hair straightened about 6 months ago and suffered hair loss for like 2 months but now it’s almost okay . still a little left but that’ll go away with time i know..i want to know if i could straighten my hair without going through that hair fall or any other problem . for some reason , i just need my hair straightened . any help sir ??

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 3:01 pm on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        hi Sam, sorry to hear about your troubles. Sorry, I am not an MD and cannot give medical advice.
        Why not take a photo of your scalp and submit for an online consultation at
        Good luck!

    • Dr. Burns 3:31 pm on March 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I am a dermatologist, however, you suggest that you have shortened the waiting time to see a dermatologist, however, you are not offering dermatologists, instead you are offering mid-level providers, for which there is no waiting time. Yes, it is a low cost alternative, but no, you have not addressed the problem you framed.
      One of the reasons which drives patients to wait for dermatologists is the perceived benefit of accuracy. So, what is the diagnostic accuracy of the providers you offer the public? A study I performed with the Veterans Administration suggests that primary care physicians provide a 30% accuracy in the diagnosis of the skin disease versus 70% by the trained dermatologists, J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Nov;41(5 Pt 1):693-702.
      What I am suggesting is that the cost effectiveness of this online program would appear to be lower than you state by providing a low value product. As you are not an MD, perhaps you should not be supervising an online medical advice system.

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 3:41 pm on March 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Dr. Burns:
        Thank you for sharing your opinion. To clarify, we in fact do offer dermatologists as well as other options such as NPs and PAs. In the case of the NPs and PAs, we do require that they have experience in dermatology specifically. The question is, in our opinion, not so much specialist vs. generalist. Rather it is in-person vs. tele, where I believe the literature shows similar accuracy between the two. Further, cost is only one advantage; others include convenience and privacy.
        Ellen Eide Kislal, PhD

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 4:28 pm on January 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Quantitative Analysis of Skin Moles 

    The Skin Of Mine Mole Analysis module provides quantitative feedback about symmetry, border, and color regularity of moles from ordinary digital photos. The graph shown below is the analysis for the mole shown in the photo. This mole was later biopsied and determined to be benign.

    Interesting, but  how well does the analysis work?  One way to answer that question is to define a test set containing an assortment of moles and assign a “truth” value to each test mole.

    We can then compare the automatic analysis results to the “truth” for each case, and amass statistics over items in the test set.

    The truth value could be a hand-labeled value of symmetry, border, and color regularity, assigned by an expert such as a dermatologist.

    Another method for establishing “truth” would be to look at biopsy results for each of the moles. Although benign moles are not always symmetric with regular borders and colors, and melanoma is not always irregular in one or more of those dimensions, there is a tendency in those directions.

    Because we know that melanoma is correlated with irregularities, we can examine the correlation between the set of automatically generated labels and the  set of biopsy results. We’ve taken a step in that direction with the following: please click on  MoleAnalysis2 to read the memo.

    Back to

    • Nancy 11:50 am on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yep, the analysis was very accurate. I had taken several different pics of the same mole, some really zoomed in. Either way, either 1 or 3 of the categories were in the red. I had biopsy done and it is Malignant Melanoma…Breslow’s 1.7mm, Clarks stage IV, vertical growth, Mitotic rate 4/mm2. I go for surgery next week. I was amazed at this site and have recommended it to friends who love research.

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 1:10 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        We were so excited to see your comments; thank you for taking the time to describe your experience. We wish you the best of luck with the surgery and a speedy recovery!

    • Nancy 10:09 pm on March 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I had WLE (wide lesion excision) 2 days ago with lithoscintography. I had done lots of reading ahead of time but was still surprised when the dye went to both arm pits and had bilateral sentinel node biopsies. Initial report….NEGATIVE lymph nodes. I get the final path report tomorrow. I have a 4 inch horizontal incision in my lower back with a Jackson Prat drain. Quite the stitches in there due to movement/location. The armpit incisions are 1 1/2 ” and glued together, should make a prettier scar🙂 I appreciated this site as I went through the journey and will still be on a journey if earlier diagnosis if there is a next time! SEE A DERM – it would have been a lot easier earlier!

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 1:53 pm on November 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    New Method Of Describing Psoriasis 

    Physicians created the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) in 1978 because they needed an objective and quantitative way to describe the effectiveness of a new psoriasis treatment drug Soriatane (acitretin.) Over the past 3 decades, PASI has become a widely used method for assessing the severity of psoriasis, as well as for  judging new psoriasis medications and therapies.

    Although the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index has become the gold standard in assessing how new psoriasis treatments are evaluated, it does have some shortcomings. For one, it is too complicated and time-consuming to be practical in most clinical settings.  Also, it involves a number of quantizations and approximations.  These simplifications are handy in the absence of tools, but why not use tools?! Furthermore, PASI has an element of subjectivity. Increasing objective measures would make the system more consistent from observer to observer, and from time to time by the same observer. has developed a simple system for precisely determining the extent and severity of psoriasis and its progression, based on standard measures and machine learning techniques.  We measure the area of psoriasis in square millimeters, using clustering techniques to precisely locate its boundaries.  We quantify redness, scaliness, and thickness based upon features in the image. We take scaling, rotation, and translation into account while determining the best alignment of two images for the purpose of visualizing changes over time.

    We hope Skin Of Mine quantification tools will prove useful in the monitoring of psoriasis by both patients and doctors.

    Back to

    • Carrie Boyle 9:44 pm on March 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      wow, this is really neat! i have had psoriasis for over 10yrs and right now i am having a flare up. The itch is horrible and redness is bad too. any one with ideas?

      • Ellen Eide Kislal 12:30 pm on March 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        hi Carrie, I think documenting your psoriasis as much as possible with photos and notes between doctor visits should help your doctor form a treatment plan. Also, in a few weeks you will have the option to ask an online nurse or doctor about your photos at and even get prescriptions. We hope that will be a time-saving, convenient option for you!

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 4:55 pm on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: area, , measuring, monitoring, quantifying, , tracking, VASI, VIDA, vitiligo   

    Quantifying and Tracking Vitiligo 

    “When determining the effectiveness of a specific treatment for a specific disease, it is important to have a reproducible, validated, pragmatic, and sensitive scoring system .” [1] Traditionally, the job of scoring has fallen to the dermatologist, who has two fairly widely accepted scoring systems available to help monitor vitiligo:  the vitiligo area severity index (VASI) [2] and the vitiligo disease activity score (VIDA) [3].

    VASI involves breaking the body into “hand units,” each of which is approximately 1% of the total surface area of the body. Within each hand unit, the degree of depigmentation is estimated and quantized into one of 6 levels. The total VASI is then the sum of the quantized depigmentation levels, where the sum runs over all hand units.

    The VIDA is a six-point scale for assessing vitiligo activity based on the individual’s own opinion of the present disease activity over time.

    Both VASI and VIDA are convenient approximations in the absence of tools. But why not use tools! Why break the body into “hand units” when you can precisely measure the total surface area affected? Why use a subjective method of tracking changes, when you can do a mathematical alignment of two images?

    Once tools are introduced, patients should have access to them, in order to be able to monitor their conditions themselves. has developed a simple system for precisely determining the extent of vitiligo and its progression, based on standard measures and machine learning techniques.  We measure the extent of vitiligo in square millimeters, and use clustering techniques to precisely locate depigmented areas. We take scaling, rotation, and translation into account while determining the best alignment of two images for the purpose of visualizing changes over time.

    We do hope these quantification tools will prove useful in the monitoring of vitiligo by patients and doctors alike.

    Back to

    [1] James Ferguson, MD, FRCP. Published in Journal Watch Dermatology July 28, 2004, covering Arch Dermatol 2004 Jun; 140:677-83

    [2] Hamzavi I, Jain H, McLean D, Shapiro J, Zeng H, Lui H. Parametric modeling of narrowband UV-B phototherapy for vitiligo using a novel quantitative tool: The Vitiligo Area Scoring Index. Arch Dermatol 2004;140:677-83.

    [3] Njoo MD, Das PK, Bos JD, Westerhof W. Association of the Koebner phenomenon with disease activity and therapeutic responsiveness in Vitiligo Vulgaris. Arch Dermatol 1999;135:407-13.

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 3:48 pm on November 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , measure, , , , , ,   

    The Significance of ‘Wrinkle Index’ 

    Wrinkles. Something we analyze consciously or subconsciously continually in our daily encounters with colleagues, friends, the TV, and the mirror. But the intuitive results are qualitative: “lots” or “a few.” “Deep” or “fine.” In order to measure the effect of a treatment, however, more precision is required.

    Toward that end, we at have developed a method for quantifying wrinkles. Users can find their “wrinkle index.” But what does
    that index signify? The best way to get an intuitive feel for what the index is showing is by examining a few examples.

    The images shown below were analyzed using the wrinkle quantification tool at The tool requires the user to highlight the wrinkles as shown in the green masks in the lower rows, resulting in the wrinkle indices shown.

    The index seems to correlate well with visual inspection; the more wrinkles in the photo, the higher the wrinkle index. With some caveats.
    Shadows in the photos can artificially elevate the index. As can including hair, beards, eyebrows, moles, the jawline, or pimples in the highlighted area. Keeping lighting, zoom, and contrast levels consistent is also important for reliability.

    So, why is the wrinkle index important? Well, if I’m going to splurge on a $100 jar of hope, I’d like to see some results. And be able to measure them.

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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 3:21 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , analyze, , , , , , , ,   

    Quantifying Acne 

    We used the Skin Of Mine Acne module at to quantify acne of six individuals, where the severity of the acne of the individuals ranged from none to severe.  In each case, the computer mouse was used to manually highlight the areas of concern for each individual.  Results are shown below. The lower row of images shows the highlighted regions in green.


    Quantification results coincide well with visual assessments. Note that for individual 3 (Acne Index of 56) the index would likely be higher if the entire face were exposed.

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 2:54 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Focus on Lips, lip plumper, lips, , ,   

    Experimenting with Focus on Lips: Plump & Reboost 

    I’ve been curious to see whether I could measure an effect due to an over the counter, topical  lip plumper. I somewhat randomly selected Focus on Lips: Plump & Reboost from CVS.

    I uploaded a “before” photo (mouth closed, no smile) to my account at and tightly boxed my lips, following the pattern of the demonstration image shown. Lip plumpness: 42.

    I then applied the Plump & Reboost gloss and waited 10 minutes. A lot of tingling, but no discomfort.  I re-photographed myself, again with mouth closed, no smile. I uploaded the “after” photo to my account and again boxed my lips. Lip plumpness: 46. Cool!

    One diet soda and an hour later, it was down to 44. Time to reapply, I guess…

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