AUSTIN -- What if simply by placing your hand over a cool, blue light you could get a accurate picture of how well your body be able to ward off aging or certain illnesses? Well, such a machine exists.
It's called the BioPhotonic Scanner. It measures the antioxidant levels in your body.
Mariska Nicholson, 47, admits she spent too much time in the sun when she was younger.
"I have very problematic skin, so it's a concern for me now," she said.
That's why Nicholson was intrigued when she first heard about the BioPhotonic Scanner at the NewU plastic surgery office of Daniel Leeman. The scanner promises an accurate picture of her antioxidant levels.
"If there's a way to measure what's inside your body, then I'm the first one in line," said Nicholson.
In short, the scanner shows how well a body is combating free radicals.
"We know that free radicals are basically scavengers that damage, on a cellular level, your DNA and lead to premature aging," said Leeman, a double, board-certified plastic surgeon.
Here's how it works: A low power blue laser light shines into the skin at a certain wavelength. As the light hits the carotenoid molecules they start migrating scattering a small portion of the laser light and changing the color from blue to green. The more carotenoids there are in the skin the more the scattered light is generated. The signal intensity is then computer analyzed.
The whole process takes about 90 seconds. After increasing her antioxidant intake, Nicholson showed a 3,000 level improvement from her first scan nearly a month ago.
"It's quick," said Leeman. "It's easy. It's painless. It's like knowing your cholesterol. You should you know how much antioxidant protection you have with your carotenoid score."
"I think information is powerful," she said. "A lot of people, I guess, just don't want the information, because they don't want to have to do the major life change. For me that's not my approach. I wanted the information, and then I want to raise the score."
The scan costs $20. Leeman says sometimes there's a consultation fee. Sometimes that fee is waived.
Click here to go to the NewU plastic surgery website.