We’ve told you before that you shouldn’t trust over the counter mole removal products. But what about smart phone apps that help check moles for skin cancer? Are those safe and effective? New data suggest that your phone isn’t smart enough to be trusted with this medical diagnosis.
Mole minder apps
In case you haven’t seen them, these apps work by taking a photograph of your mole and then applying mathematical formulae to assess their symmetry and color. If the mole matches a certain set of criteria the app flags it as being potentially pre-cancerous. But dermatologists at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center tested some of these smartphone apps and found that they missed dangerous moles about one-third of the time!
Rather than relying on your smartphone instead of your dermatologist may not be so smart after all. But the researchers do recommend apps that help you track changes in moles and then remind you to have your doctor look at them. For example, the University of Michigan’s UMSkinCheck sends self-exam reminders. The important thing is to have those moles checked!
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