Dr. Obagi’s skin classification system includes two important variables, skin elasticity and fragility, in addition to skin color, thickness, and oiliness.
Skin elasticity evaluates the amount of elastic protein in the skin. As people age, they lose more elastic protein, which can cause the skin to become more loose and saggy. A doctor can evaluate skin elasticity by examining drooping eyelids, facial sagging, wrinkles, and other factors. The worse the skin elasticity, the poorer the recovery. Skin elasticity can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of non-surgical skin-tightening methods. Mild sagging can be treated with non-invasive methods, while more severe sagging may require invasive methods such as injection or minimally invasive procedures to address.
Skin fragility refers to the skin’s recovery progress after injury. Some people can recover in just a few days, while others may take several weeks. Certain genetic factors may cause atypical recovery processes such as scar growth or crab-like swelling. After undergoing invasive treatments, such people may have a higher risk of complications, so treatment depth should not exceed the papillary dermis layer to minimize the risk of scar growth or crab-like swelling.
Dr. Obagi’s skin assessment system has better predictive effects than other systems and can compensate for their shortcomings. However, there is no objective scoring standard for its assessed variables, so different doctors may have different assessment results based on their experience. In addition, Dr. Obagi’s skin assessment system cannot answer all the questions that may arise from treatment because skin complexity is much greater than most people imagine. Until now, there is no personalized treatment that can completely avoid side effects and achieve the desired effect. Perhaps in the future, genetic testing will be one way to address this issue!