7 Ways Your Phone Can Benefit Your Skin

Smart phones have become an inte­gral part of our dai­ly lives. We can use these devices as tools to pro­mote healthy skin­care rou­tines as well as our over­all skin health. Check out these inter­est­ing cell phone fea­tures to help pro­mote ear­ly skin can­cer detec­tion and get the most out of your next skin check appointment.

1. Month­ly skin check cal­en­dar reminders

Per­form­ing a self-skin exam each month is a cru­cial way to main­tain your over­all skin health. To help you remem­ber to per­form an exam, you can uti­lize the Reminder app on your phone. The app helps you sched­ule your month­ly self-skin exam for an entire year on your cal­en­dar. Per­form­ing these exams on a reg­u­lar basis helps increase your chances of detect­ing poten­tial­ly can­cer­ous spots as ear­ly as possible. 

2. Flash­light for self-exams

You can use the flash­light fea­ture on your phone to help view and iden­ti­fy sus­pi­cious moles. With the prop­er light­ing, you can look for poten­tial­ly can­cer­ous spots using the ABCDE method or the Ugly Duck­ling sign. 

The ABCDE method is a mnemon­ic to help iden­ti­fy sus­pi­cious lesions. It stands for Asym­me­try, Bor­der irreg­u­lar­i­ty, Col­or dif­fer­ences with­in an indi­vid­ual mole, a Diam­e­ter big­ger than the size of a pen­cil eras­er (approx­i­mate­ly 6 mm), and an Evolv­ing or chang­ing mole in size, shape or col­or. Sim­i­lar­ly, the Ugly Duck­ling sign is a gen­er­al guide­line to help iden­ti­fy moles that look sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent com­pared to the oth­ers on your skin. If you notice a new or chang­ing lesion that meet these cri­te­ria, sched­ule an appoint­ment to see a board-cer­ti­fied dermatologist.

3. Cam­era to watch for sus­pi­cious spots

If you find a sus­pi­cious look­ing spot dur­ing your month­ly self-skin exam, take a pho­to to ref­er­ence the next month. This method is ben­e­fi­cial for track­ing changes through­out time and is very help­ful to share with your der­ma­tol­o­gist at your annu­al skin exam. 

4. UV ray lev­el apps

Weath­er apps are anoth­er ben­e­fi­cial tool to help you pro­tect your skin. Many have the UV index lev­els list­ed hourly. This fea­ture can help you plan your day and avoid out­door activ­i­ties when UV rays are at their strongest. Even on cloudy days, remem­ber to always wear sun­screen with a SPF 30 or high­er. Clouds do not fil­ter or block UV light, which can result in sun­burns even on an over­cast day. 

5. Sun­screen and skin care appli­ca­tion alarm

The timer func­tion on your phone can be used to remind you when you need to reap­ply your sun­screen. Sun­screen should be reap­plied every two hours when out­doors for pro­longed peri­ods of time. Addi­tion­al­ly, sun­screen should be reap­plied after swim­ming and dur­ing intense exercise. 

Set­ting your phone alarm to remind you to do your morn­ing and evening skin­care rou­tine is a great way to keep skin look­ing fresh. Wash­ing your face night­ly reduces dirt, make­up and oils that lead to acne breakouts. 

6. Notes app

Before you vis­it the der­ma­tol­o­gist, it is rec­om­mend­ed that you cre­ate a list of your med­ical his­to­ry and any skin-relat­ed ques­tions. Writ­ing down notes dur­ing your vis­it in the Notes app is help­ful to remem­ber what was dis­cussed and ensure that all your ques­tions were answered. 

7. Skin­care ingre­di­ent scanner

With so many skin­care prod­ucts on the mar­ket, it can be dif­fi­cult to choose prod­ucts that are best suit­ed for your skin. Many skin­care apps have a func­tion that allows users to scan the man­u­fac­tur­er bar­code and then pro­vide a rat­ing and/​or descrip­tion of each ingre­di­ent. This help­ful tool can improve the qual­i­ty of your skin­care prod­ucts and your over­all skin health. 

Sched­ule an appoint­ment online or by phone to see one of our board-cer­ti­fied der­ma­tol­o­gists to learn more.

  • Stephanie Gan, MD, Hinsdale Dermatologist

    I strive to provide the highest quality health care services to all of our patients efficiently, effectively and compassionately. We offer a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, providing patients with unparalleled service. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you take the best possible care of your skin.