How ‘selfies’ are helping people with skin problems
The infamous selfie, the new trend which has taken social media by storm has now made movements in the medical field. A new study has investigated how selfies can be used to benefit suffers of skin conditions who otherwise may have no access to professional treatment.
The study was led by April Armstrong from the University of Colorado, Denver. The study itself included 156 adults and children with eczema; this group was then split into two groups of 78. One group of 78 received the usual, face to face, in-office care. The other group of 78 received online, follow up care. The group who was receiving online treatment received all their treatment through sending photos “selfies”, to their dermatologist who then analysed the photo and made treatment recommendations and prescribed the medications the patient needed.
The results of the study were very positive and showed that technological advances and trends benefit a whole group of issues not only social. After one year of the study, clearance or near-clearance of eczema was seen in almost 44 per cent of patients who received face to face care and more than 38 per cent of those who received online care only. The figures here show a near exact percentage of success in the results, which shows many potential new avenues in medical treatments could soon be available.
Gary Goldenbery, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, commented with the following “This study shows something interesting- patients eczema improved regardless whether they saw the doctor for follow-up in the office or communicated online”.
It is important to note that there is still huge importance of in-office visits regarding health issues. The relationship between patient and doctor can be very important in not only putting the patient at ease but also in identifying other potential health issues. This new type of medical care would be more advisable for individuals who live in rural areas and who don’t have access to medical care or a dermatologist without having to travel far. It could also be beneficial as the availability of dermatologists is not near the high demand.