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Enter the Age of the “Serious Selfie”
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Derm RF

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From Facebook to company newsfeeds, Twitter to Instagram, you can’t escape the selfie. Our likenesses are splashed across big screens, small screens, monitors and phones. In fact, in no other time in history has our appearance been seen, sourced and scrutinized so much as the present.

But those little pics we snap on our smart phones might not be just for fun anymore.  Welcome to the age of the “serious selfie.”

Patients are increasingly turning to the Internet to self-diagnose and communicate with their physicians. Consider a new study in the Journal of American Medical Association that found eczema patients who took photos of skin lesions and sent them to their dermatologists over the course of a year received comparable care with those who made in-office visits.

Even in areas where healthcare access is limited to an underserved growing population, dermatologists are exploring “teledermatology.” Dermatology World reports the emergence of “Virtual Skin Clinics” and “e-medical facilities” in India where patients can log on and gain access to healthcare.

“Travelling long distances to see a dermatologist will be a thing of the past,” says Jayakar Thomas, MD, a professor and president of the Indian Society of Teledermatology (INSTED).

Here in North America, not everyone may be keen about trading an in-person visit with a Skype call, but we can easily use selfies to track suspicious moles to help doctors better evaluate potential skin cancers. Keep it simple and snap your pics every birthday so you won’t be as likely to forget the date.

On a less serious note, “before and after” pictures can help illustrate the benefits of skincare achieved over time by comparing baseline selfies taken before a Regimen has begun to those at the 4-week, 8-week and 12-week mark. So break out those phones and get snapping. You’ll be amazed at the progress a selfie can show.

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