M12 — March 2012 — App for Dermatitis
Intro: Nine million. That's how many people go to the doctor every year because of dermatitis. It's an itchy, ugly rash you get when you're allergic to things such as additives in skin lotions or detergents. And for many, trying to figure out what products are safe can be daunting — labels can be confusing. A doctor at Mayo Clinic wants to change that. He's developed a smartphone app to make life a lot easier for people with dermatitis. It tells you what products are safe for you and which ones could cause problems.
Anything that touches your skin, makes me break out.
A trip to the doctor's office and some allergy testing helped Dottie find out what the culprits were.
Benzalkonium chloride and fragrance.
But finding products that were safe, that didn't have those ingredients in any shape or form, was overwhelming.
It was confusing because I had chemical names that I had to figure out on the back of each product. It took forever to look at every row, every line
It took forever to look at every row, every column, all these things. Read every bottle.
All that just to buy skin cream, a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo.
But CARD does the thinking for you.
CARD, says Dr. James Yiannias, is short for contact allergen replacement database. It's an app you can use on your computer or smartphone that's custom designed for each user.
It's basically a shopping list of skin care products that you can use based upon what it is that your dermatologist has said that you're allergic to.
Products that are safe for you. You can also search for products by category or brand name. And if they contain ingredients that could cause a rash, the app sends you a warning.
The whole purpose of CARD is to allow our patients who struggle with itchy, uncomfortable red rashes to be steered clear of the things that we know tend to cause this sort of problem.
Other features will include a bar code reader to identify products, suggestions for products that are safe and a journal where you can jot down notes. You can even upload pictures of skin reactions to show to your doctor on your next visit. The app helped Dottie find products that work for her.
My skin is so much better now.
And safe products equal fewer outbreaks of dermatitis.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
CARD has more than 4,500 products in its database. Dr. Yiannias says it's constantly being updated, and the app will even let you know if a manufacturer changes ingredients in products. That way you can make sure all ingredients are safe.
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