Self skin-checks are an important part of preventing and early detection of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone do a monthly self skin check, from head to toe.  Self examinations are aimed at spotting any new lesions or growths or any changes to existing growths. When skin cancer is found and treated early, it is almost always curable.
For those with IPhones, IPads or Ipods, doing a skin self exam just got easier. The University of Michigan has developed a mobile app to help. The app allows users to store a full body photographic library, so you can track any changes. The app walks you through the entire process of completing a self exam, including taking 23 photos which cover your body from head to toe. These photos are then stored within the app and can be used to compare lesions, growths, moles or spots that may develop later.
Whole body photography can be an important part of detecting skin cancer, especially for those at high risk. However, this tool can be very expensive if you use a professional photographer and may not be covered by your insurance.
The new app was developed because of the growing population who has digital cameras through their phone or other electronic device and allows you to complete the photography from the privacy of your home.
Once the exam is completed, the app will remind you to complete regular self-checks. If you notice any changes, you can share the photos with your dermatologist, letting him see both the original photo and the later photo. This helps your doctor decide if a biopsy or additional medical treatment is needed.
The app also lets you:
- Download informational videos
- Locate a skin cancer specialist
- View pictures of different skin cancers for comparison
- Iphone 3 or higher
- IPad 2 or higher
- Ipod Touch, 4th generation or higher
- iOS version 4.0 or higher
The app can be downloaded from ITunes
For more information on self-exams:
 "Early Detection and Self Exams, " Date Unknown, Staff Writer, The Skin Cancer Foundation
Skin Cancer Self-Exam Mobile App, Date Unknown, Staff Writer, University of Michigan Health System
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.