It seems there is an app for everything these days. I have been writing on Health Central about various medical apps to help patients. I have found some great apps to help people who suffer from depression. There are also apps to help people who have anxiety disorders. There are apps for parents of special needs children. And there are apps for psoriasis sufferers. Today I am going to be writing about apps to help you prevent skin cancer.
LoveMySkin Mole Map
When you do a search for skin cancer apps, the “LoveMySkin Mole Map” is one that comes up at the top of the list. Developer Steven Romej created this app with the intent to promote awareness of skin cancer and also provide an easy to use aid in the early detection of skin cancers. As with any medical app, the information gleaned is not to replace the professional guidance of your doctor. It is simply another tool to help you keep track of suspicious moles or lesions.
How this apps works is you are given a choice of a female or male body image and you mark your moles on the appropriate model. One reviewer noted that the blue body image used for the male model looks strikingly like Mr. Manhattan from “The Watchmen” but without one important anatomical detail. The body diagrams do show buttocks and the female model has breasts, however, so it was given a 17+ rating which means that you are required to be 17 years of age or older to purchase this app.
The information you input into this app can be of great value to your dermatologist who can readily assess any new moles or lesions. This app also provides a visual ABCD guide for the identification of suspicious moles which need to be checked out by your dermatologist. The best thing about this app is that it encourages people to do a self body check and be more aware of changes to their skin which could indicate the early warning signs of skin cancer, and especially melanoma.
Melanoma Visual Risk Calculator
The melanoma visual risk calculator is a skin cancer app created by Dr. Sigve Dhondup Holmen. The title of this app is fairly descriptive of what it does. It uses the ABCD criteria to help you to determine the percentage of risk that a mole or skin lesion is a malignant melanoma. For example, you will use a slide bar rating tool to describe whether your mole is more asymmetrical, has border irregularities, is variegated in color, or is smaller or larger than six millimeters.
It does seem that you could get this information from most skin cancer sites but it may be useful in promoting skin cancer awareness. The percentage of risk this app provides may not be so accurate. I would let your dermatologist take a look at any moles or skin growths which concern you.
The UV Index app, developed by FeedVision LLC, uses your current location to determine the EPA or TEMIS predicted UV Index for your geographic area. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is what can cause sunburn, damage to the skin, and can increase your risk for skin cancer. Being able to know the UV index can help you to assess your risk for overexposure to the sun on any given day. This app will not only provide the UV index for your area but will explain what the numbers mean. For example, if your UV index is 10, the app will provide a warning stating, “Very High Damage Risk.” It will also allow you to enter conditions such as your skin type, your sunscreen’s SPF, the local terrain (such as the beach, park, mountains, etc) and the amount of cloud cover. It will then calculate when to seek shade as well as how long it will take for skin damage to occur under these conditions.
Unlike some other apps for calculating the UV index, this one provides worldwide coverage.
There is a warning given by the creator of this app to use common sense when interpreting the results as there may be other conditions which affect your risk for sun damage. You really want to be careful that you do not over estimate the time you can be in the sun and especially those people who are at high risk for skin cancer or who already have a history of skin cancer.
These are just several of the skin cancer prevention apps that I found. If you know of any more please let us know. Any tool that helps promote awareness, prevention, or early detection of skin cancer is a good thing. We can use all the help we can get in the fight against skin cancer.
For more information about skin cancer and skin cancer prevention please read the many informative articles on these topics on SkinCancerConnection.
Published On: February 28, 2011