SkinVision Helps Check If A Mole Is Potentially Cancerous From The Comfort Of Your Own Home
There’s no better feeling for me than the warmth of the sun touching my skin; it instantly lifts my mood, melts away any anxieties and has the side effect of giving me a more radiant sunkissed glow. I adore the sunshine, but as a pale British woman I’ve learned the hard way that it’s essential to enjoy it safely and in moderation. Our shores don’t tend to benefit from a huge amount of sun, so when it finally graces us with its presence we have a tendency to flock to the nearest park or beach in our best summer looks to baste like a turkey at Christmas. It’s no surprise that we’re one of the most sunburned and sun damaged nations on the planet; we’re just not well educated on how to effectively look after our skin in the sun, or the importance of wearing appropriate SPF all year round.
A recent Cancer Research UK survey found that although we’re more aware of sun care while abroad, us Brits aren’t taking steps to protect ourselves from the sun when we’re at home – with a third admitting they don’t apply sun cream when they’re in their own outside spaces, and 7% admitting they don’t protect their skin at all. Over the last decade we’ve definitely become more aware and proactive when it comes to sun care, driven mainly by the known link between UVA rays and accelerated ageing, but there’s still a long way to go. Applying sunscreen shouldn’t just be a task reserved for your annual holiday, but something that’s part of your daily regime.
If you’re not careful, conscious and committed to the protection of your skin, you could live to regret it. According to research, even one incident of skin burning or blistering increases your likelihood of developing skin cancer, while repeated exposure via sunbathing or sunbeds can increase your risk by up to 20%.
THE INCREASING PREVALENCE OF SKIN CANCER
Around 15,400 people are diagnosed with melanoma (a type of skin cancer) in the UK each year, with instances rising faster than any other common cancer. Over the last decade the number of people in the UK diagnosed with melanoma has increased by nearly 50%, making it the 5th most common cancer in the UK.
The good news though is that if you’re able to identify a problematic area and get the appropriate treatment quickly, the outlook is very good; the key is early access to treatment, far increasing the probability of a positive outcome. And that’s where SkinVision comes in…
WHAT IS THE SKINVISION APP?
Driven by the desire to empower you to check your skin spots for signs of skin cancer, SkinVision is the leading service for the early detection of skin cancer worldwide. With over 1.2 million users in over 50 countries, SkinVision is backed by medical experts from across the globe and is clinically proven to accurately detect up to 95% of skin cancers.
Potentially helping you to avoid lengthy waiting times, costly private treatments or sleepless nights overcome with worry, SkinVision allows you to instantly analyse and track areas of concern from the comfort of your own home.
HOW DOES SKINVISION WORK?
The first step is to set up your profile, answering a few questions on your skin tone and lifestyle so any future assessments take into account their context. SkinVision’s incredibly easy to use technology then analyzes a photo taken with your phone, providing an instant risk assessment and advice on what you should do next; the app directs you to move to better light, change the angle of the camera or even hold with more stability to get the best possible image of any moles or spots that are causing concern.
Within only a few seconds you’re provided with a result based on whether it’s deemed to be low or high risk, putting your mind at ease and advising you to seek medical advice promptly if needed.
What I love about the app is that you can store the pictures for tracking over time, labeling each of them for easy identification and even making folders for different parts of your body. As someone with very freckly skin and all manner of moles, this makes it so much easier to keep an eye on any changes over time and feel safe in the knowledge that you can check in wherever you happen to be.
WILL I STILL NEED TO SEE MY GP?
It’s important to mention that SkinVision is not trying to replace your GP; the app supplements specialist care by alleviating the burden on busy surgeries, especially given the current global circumstance and the NHS’s growing backlog of patients. If a high-risk lesion is spotted by the app you will be encouraged to seek further support and care, but if there’s nothing to worry about it saves the time and energy otherwise required to book and attend an appointment.
Skin spots and moles have been something I’m increasingly concerned about, both in myself and in loved ones, particularly as someone who’s fair and prone to burning. (Lucky for me this puts me in the highest risk category!) I’ve been keeping an eye on my husbands raised moles for a while too, and was looking into a consultation for him before lockdown hit, as I know he’s never been that good at applying sunscreen.
Having the SkinVision app to hand has absolutely alleviated my concerns and anxieties, while removing the need for unnecessary costly private appointments, because within seconds it lets you know if there’s anything to be worried about. One of Josh’s moles was flagged as high risk, and I was super impressed that I received further notifications and emails suggesting I got it looked into as a matter of urgency (don’t worry, he’s all clear!)
Research shows men are twice as likely to die of skin cancer than women, largely due to a reluctance to seek medical help, so this is also an opportunity for us to look after our loved ones or encourage them to check out any concerning skin spots without having to drag them along to an appointment. It’s all about putting the power back in your hands and aiding you with the knowledge you need to make good decisions.
Applying SPF is an absolute non-negotiable for me, and something that’s been drilled into me since I was a child by my mum (who even applies sunscreen to her dog!) I’ve been able to form good habits and hopefully pass them on to many of you, but I know that it’s easy to forget or slip back into bad patterns – and it only takes once to potentially put yourself at risk. Having a tool such as SkinVision absolutely makes all the difference, and it’s something I know I’ll be telling everyone about for years to come.
It’s an amazing idea, a genuinely helpful service and one that could potentially save lives.
They’ve already helped to discover over 40,000 cases of skin cancer to date – and they’re on a mission to discover even more.
Will you be one of them?
Find out more about the SkinVision app here: www.skinvision.com
Download it via the app store for free; choose from either €6.99 per check, €29.99 for unlimited checks over three months, or €49.99 for unlimited checks over a year.
Check out all my other posts on staying sun safe and using great SPF products HERE.