Summer 2015 is drawing to a close. Time to leave the beach or the pool and head back to school or work. Hopefully, you took good care of your skin this summer and will continue to practice good skin care year round. (Sunscreen isn’t just for the summer months!) Part of taking care of your skin is to receive annual skin checks from your doctor or dermatologist to search for any suspicious moles that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous.
Now, there’s an app for that!
SkinVision is a new app that helps you detect suspicious moles and keep track of any changes. The app should not replace your annual skin checks with your healthcare team. But, it may be a helpful tool for you to use in between check ups. How does the app work? First, take a picture of the mole or spot on your skin. The app will analyze the spot and offer a recommendation. You can also archive the picture for comparison in the future to make sure that the spot isn’t’ growing or changing. Remember, the app is not a diagnositic tool! It can only tell you when you may want to visit a doctor.
If you think the app will help you remember to perform regular self skin checks, then you may want to check it out. If you’ve had moles or spots removed in the past, using the archive function may also be helpful for you so you can share pictures over time with your dermatologist.
If apps aren’t your thing, you can easily perform skin checks without it. Follow the ABCDE rule:
- A.Asymmetry If you divide the mole in half, does one half look different from the other?
- B.Border Is the border uneven, irregular, or jagged?
- C.Color – Is the color dark, two-toned, or an unusual shade?
- D.Diameter (width) Is the mole larger than a pencil eraser? (This does not always mean a mole is cancerous, but it is a general guideline to determine if a mole needs to be biopsied.
- E.Evolution Has there been any dramatic change in the mole in recent weeks or months?
Remember to check the bottoms of your feet, the back of your knees, your scalp, and any other hard to see places. If you notice anything suspicious, visit your dermatologist ASAP for a biopsy to determine if the spot is cancerous.
Do you have any favorite cancer-related apps? Let us know!