Don’t Trust Mobile Apps To Detect Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common causes of death in Australia. Early detection is important, but a new research study confirms that smartphone apps which photograph your skin and attempt to identify melanomas do a very poor job. The study, published in JAMA Dermatology, examined the performance of four smartphone apps in assessing 188 images of skin lesions. 128 of the inages were benign, and 60 were melanomas. The study doesn’t name the applications directly, but both iOS and Android apps were examined. Performance of the four apps was highly variable (some rely on automated analysis, others send the image to a dermatologist for analysis), but even the best performing app only had a positive predictive value of 42.1 per cent. Three out of the four apps incorrectly classified 30 per cent or more melanomas as benign and not risky. The lesson is clear: get any skin abnormality that concerns you checked by a doctor. This is not a case for Dr iPhone. As the study points out: “Reliance on these applications, which are not subject to regulatory oversight, in lieu of medical consultation can delay the diagnosis of melanoma and harm users.” Diagnostic Inaccuracy of Smartphone Applications for Melanoma Detection [JAMA Dermatology] Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTwitterGoogleLike this:Like...

Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules Can Help Prevent Acne Breakouts

  If you’re having acne issues and don’t have a specific medication handy, you might consider breaking open a standard ibuprofen liquid gel capsule and gently rubbing the liquid onto the affected area. The Beauty & Style section at the iVillage weblog shares that this tip works well when you notice a pimple rearing its ugly head away from home. Acme.org, the largest community dedicated to acne relief, has noted that several users have reported success using this method. Several users at Acme.org have noticed that it reduces the redness and irritation of an acne breakout almost immediately and that Japan has an ibuprofen gel specifically for acne relief. This seems like a good reason to keep a few packets of gel capsules in your go-bag or purse. Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTwitterGoogleLike this:Like...

SPF50+: how well does it protect you?

When you're picking up your holiday supplies over the coming weeks you will probably notice something different sitting on the sunscreen shelves. These new sunscreens, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50+ (SPF50+), certainly sound as though they'll offer a lot more protection than those which have been available until now. But experts warn we shouldn't become careless about sun safety when using them. "The way we should approach this is to say, 'I'll still limit my time in the sun, but when I am in the sun I have that little bit extra protection'," says Professor Michael Kimlin, head of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Sun and Health. "The amount of change between (SPF)30+ and 50+ is small, and people need to be aware that sunscreen is always the last line of defence." Honorary secretary of the Australasian College of Dermatologists Dr Philip Artemi agrees, saying wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and appropriate clothing, seeking shade and staying out of the sun in the middle of the day is just as important as ever. What SPF50+ really means The sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen refers to the length of time it takes for skin to burn after you have applied sunscreen. It also refers to how much light it stops from reaching the skin. "If you normally burn in five minutes (without sunscreen), with SPF30+ you have 150 minutes of grace; with SPF50+ you have 250 minutes," says Artemi. SPF50+ sunscreens block 98 per cent of UVB rays – compared to 96.7 per cent in SPF30+ sunscreens. The broad...

What Is DHT (Dihydrotestosterone)? What Is DHT’s Role In Baldness?

DHT, which stands forDihydrotestosterone (5α-Dihydrotestosterone), is a male sex hormone, an androgen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate. Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of androgen in the body - men more commonly than women. DHT plays a major role in hair loss. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia or androgenetic alopecia, is caused by the hair follicle's sensitivity to DHT. The follicles miniaturize (shrink), resulting in a shorter lifespan and the abnormal production of hair. The molecular formula for DHT is C19H30O2. The most important part of the hair follicle is the dermal papilla (papilla of hair), which is responsible for the growth of hair. The dermal papilla cells divide and differentiate to form new hair follicles. The papilla is in direct contact with the skin's blood capillaries, from which it gets its essential nutrients for proper hair follicle growth. The dermal papilla has a large number of androgen receptors (more in males than females). A hair follicle (image from Wikimedia Commons) When DHT gets to the dermal papilla, it undermines the absorption of vital nutrients required for healthy hair follicles. Hair follicles have resting and growing phases - without propernutrition, their resting stages get longer while their growing phases get shorter. What is Miniaturization? Miniaturization in this text refers to the progressive shrinking the hair follicle. Hair grows for shorter periods, becomes lighter, finer and smaller, until it eventually reaches the vellus stage. Vellus hair is light-colored, short, thin and very fine hair - it is barely noticeable and grows on most of the human...

Kids Need To Use More Sunscreen

A study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that most pre-adolescent children do not regularly use sunscreen, and worse, many suffer from sunburn at some point during their childhood. Figures show that people having suffered a major sunburn incident in their childhood are at double the risk of developing a melanoma later in life, so protecting children from too much sun is something parents and carers should pay more attention to. The study, which is entitled "Prospective Study of Sunburn and Sun Behavior Patterns During Adolescence," looked at 360 children in the Massachusetts area and found that at least 50% of them experienced sun burn before their 11th birthday. They followed up with the participants three years later and found rates of sunburn still alarmingly high; and as children grew into their teens fewer reported using sunscreen, most thought they spent more time in the sun, than as children. At the conclusion of the study, only 25% of children used sunscreen routinely and half the children who reported using sunscreen at the beginning of the study no longer used it three years later. Stephen Dusza, lead author and a research epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "At the same time, there was a significant reduction in reported sunscreen use." Less is known about the activities of teenagers, but many, especially girls like to begin tanning - ideas are needed to promote sun protection at the beaches, after-school sites, as well as at sporting and other outdoor events. Dusza plans to extend the study of the children into their late teens and gather more data about behaviors and fashions in regards to sun exposure....
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