A team of 9 experts in the field of dermatology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, and dermatological surgery have developed the first standardized, comprehensive rating system that measures, helps educate and provides a common language for physicians, researchers and patients on the skin's aging process. Manufactured by Merz Aesthetics, the Merz Scales was introduced at the American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) 67th annual meeting in San Francisco recently.

Highlights of the Merz Scales
a. These scales address the need for standardization, validation and consistency when evaluating changes in aging skin.
b. It helps in the education and communication between physicians and patients about the aging process.
c. Experts rated 35 to 50 real-life images of people.
d. These images were then evaluated for reproducibility of results.
e. After this, the scales were generated as five-point scales using computer-morphed photography.
f. Specific anatomical changes related to aging were identified and incorporated into the photographs.
g. Visual guides were developed to correspond to regional areas on the face and hands.
h. Lines formed as a result of the movements of different muscle groups were also included.
i. However, these scales do not diagnose or treat any particular conditions.