Are Dermatologist Apps Actually Harming Our Skin — And Our Health?


Dr. Snehal Amin, the Director of Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, cites a 2013 study that evaluated this exact question. According to the study, three of four smartphone applications incorrectly classified 30 percent or more of melanomas as "unconcerning," he explains. He goes on to explain how a dermatologist might react differently than an app: "When a dermatologist is unsure about the nature of a particular skin spot, they biopsy it. A skin biopsy is a quick and nearly painless procedure and it is 99 percent accurate. I've had two myself (with good results). A photo with your iPhone lens is definitely not as accurate as a pathologist's microscopic analysis," he says.

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