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.