Make 2015 the year your resolve to make your skin healthy AND beautiful. Because you’ll wear your skin every day for the rest of your life, it’s important to protect it and ensure you’re doing all you can to have the best skin possible. Start the year right with a new skin care regime and few new tips to keep yourself healthy 365 days a year.
Skin cancer, or melanoma, is a serious concern for anyone who spends time in the sun. And although the presence of this disease is more prominent than ever, the general public’s knowledge on its causes and prevention are still largely inadequate.
There are a number of myths and common misconceptions, one of the most popular being that individuals of color are less likely or even immune to the disease. Bob Marley is perhaps one of the best examples to dispel this notion, as the singer suffered from melanoma for four years before passing away in 1981.
Everyone, including women of color, should strive to maintain a healthy skin care routine. This of course includes moisturizing and washing, but it also means protecting via sunscreen, even in the colder months, as the sun’s UV rays never take a break despite a drop in temperature. It is also important to check for any irregularities, such as changes in pre-existing moles, the emergence of new ones, and any changes in the coloring of the skin.
Today, technology can also help you evaluate moles and other skin changes – even providing a “diagnosis” of whether or not the changes is cancerous. And for the most part, apps that facilitate better communication between doctors and patients are a good thing.
According to industry blog HealthITjobs.com, however, health-oriented mobile apps deal with personal data in ways that aren’t necessarily secure or HIPPA-compliant, so patients should be cautious about how they use them. And while not to be used in replacement of actual medical expertise, these apps do provide an excellent education in skin cancer prevention. Read on to learn more about three specific apps being used as melanoma screeners:
Doctor Mole is an application by RevoSoft that is designed to check moles for irregularities that could be indicative of skin cancer. After taking a photo on your smartphone, the app will offer real time analysis of asymmetry, border, diameter, color, and evolution. The detailed mole analysis feature provides a more in depth look at the warning signs of melanoma, and lets users know more specific telltale signs they should look for in the future. All data is secure on your phone, and you can even set up reminders to check the development of any moles you’re concerned about.
DermoScreen is an inexpensive app that allows for a quick and effective melanoma screening. DermoScreen is a helpful application for many people who don’t have immediate access to a medical specialist but are concerned about potential skin cancer. After a photo of a mole has been taken, it is then run through embedded software and shortly thereafter produces a result. The software has been in development since 2005, and was made with people in developing countries or those who do not have affordable, easy medical access in mind. When tested, it’s produced results with an 85% accuracy rating.
SkinVision is a melanoma detection app with the intention of helping people catch any skin anomalies early on and prevent the development of skin cancer. Described on the application’s website as “your lifetime skin companion”, SkinVision doesn’t just provide analysis and then subsequent reminders or recommendations to seek the counsel of a physician, but also provides information on UV-exposure, and stresses the importance of taking preventative measures from the sun’s rays.
While these apps are excellent resources in learning more about melanoma, as well as receiving a free analysis of any concerning moles skin abnormalities, they do not take the place of an actual diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional. If you believe that you or someone you love is at risk for skin cancer, it is critical to make an appointment with a licensed physician as soon as possible.
Learning about the risks of melanoma, as well as maintaining a vigilant skin regimen that includes professional checkups, is one way to actively decrease your risk of developing melanoma.
About the Author:
Beth Kelly is a blogger based in Chicago, IL. She’s become passionate about healthcare and technology issues, and how the two can intersect to make life easier for everyone. In her free time she avid gardener, freelance photographer and lover of silent films. Find her on Twitter @bkelly_88