Nothing puts a damper on summer fun more quickly than a rash or some other unsightly, itchy or painful skin issue.

Heat, sun exposure, allergies, bugs, jacuzzis, pools and water parks all increase your risk of getting a rash or fungal infection during the summer months. Athlete’s foot contracted from walking across the pool deck barefoot can be spread to your genitals [aka: Jock Itch], hands and nails if you’re not careful. If it happens, don’t ignore it. 

We happened to meet the founder of First Derm, Dr. Alexander Börve at a digital health event recently and learned about their consumer product called Skin Image Search.

When you upload an image to their platform, Skin Image Search uses artificial intelligence to compare your image to over 250,000 images previously uploaded by other users for a match. Curious? We were too.

So we followed up with Dr. Börve to confirm a few details:

1/ What is the main reason Skin Image Search is used?

People use the platform for all types of skin concerns. However, if I was to pick one reason it’s probably the anonymity. You can upload a picture of your skin issue and get a response without creating an account or providing any personal information. For that reason, we receive proportionately more images with skin issues on genitals.

2/ It’s only 40% accurate now? How widely do the diagnosis vary?

We are 80% confident that your concern will be in the top five responses and are reasonably confident now that it will be the first response listed. The responses get more accurate as more photos are uploaded by users and analyzed. However, Skin Image Search is not a diagnostic service. It’s only a tool to guide your treatment decisions. 

3/ Are any treatment recommendations provided for each of the conditions?

With the AI “Skin Image Search” we do not give treatment recommendations, just the skin condition. Your local pharmacists should be able to assist you with over-the-counter products or search online. Your doctor will recommend or select prescription medications best suited for you when necessary.

4/ Are physicians in your company reviewing results before results are shared with the user?

If you select our First Derm service one of our dermatologists will review the image. Skin Image Search is a free service that is only meant to help guide you. Compared to a Google search, where you need to text and compare images, Skin Image Search is better.

Healthy skin plays an important role in your overall health. It provides a barrier that keeps you from getting sick and protects your bones, muscles, cartilage and internal organs from getting damaged. If you notice a rash, bumps or some other change in your skin, don’t ignore it.

If you like triaging your own healthcare, start with Skin Image Search or First Derm service. It’ll give you insight as to whether your skin issue is something that can be treated with over-the-counter products or if it’s something that needs to be diagnosed by a doctor and treated with prescription medications.