Researchers have built an algorithm that can classify skin lesions as cancerous or benign with the same accuracy as dermatologists.
This week US scientists announced they have developed an algorithm, or a computerised tool, to identify skin cancers through analysis of photographs.
Rather than relying on human eyes, the new method scans a photo of a patch of skin to look for common and dangerous forms of skin cancer.
The authors report their approach performs on par with board-certified dermatologists to distinguish two forms of cancer, keratinocyte carcinoma and malignant melanoma, from benign skin lesions.
The skin cancer diagnostic tool is based on a powerful type of machine learning that extracts information from images. The critical factor in achieving the accuracy and reliability required for a medical diagnostic tool is the large volume of training data the authors have used.
This data consists of 129,450 skin images, and a label for each which indicates whether it contains a cancerous region. The machine is trained on this data to make the distinction automatically.
Part of what distinguishes this approach is that it can analyse images taken with a simple hand-held camera, such as the ones on most phones. This means a GP, or even a patient, could take a photo of a patch of skin that presents concerns and receive an indication as to whether it contains a cancerous region.
But translating this research result into a clinical product that can be used for practical diagnosis will require significant further development, documentation, and testing. [Read more…]
Case Western Reserve University
Almost half of people between 18 and 35 have tattoos, and almost one in four regrets it, according to a 2016 Harris Poll. Based on an estimate of about 60 million people in that age group, that would mean that about 7.5 million people have tattoo regret.
As a primary care physician, I’ve noticed anecdotally that many of my younger patients have regrets about their tattoos. When I ask about them, many say that they got them when they were young, and at the time put little or no research into the decision.
With no source (reliable or otherwise) of tattoo information to suggest to my patients, I began to investigate the topic myself. My goal was to write a quick reference for teens that reviewed the health and social issues they might encounter after getting a tattoo.
What I found was myriad unexpected and sometimes shocking concerns that everyone should know. To my surprise, there were a host of reports of ink complications, infections, toxin effects, scarring, burns, chronic irritations and much more. [Read more…]
From the US Food and Drug Administration
Whatever your complexion, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it. But as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury.
How will you know if mercury’s in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”? Check the label. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.
The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. Adolescents may use these products as acne treatments. [Read more…]
By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez
Kaiser Health News
When it comes to consumers choosing sunscreen, they are often drawn to a product’s scent, texture and, of course, performance, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology.
It also found that, in many instances, these sunblocks don’t measure up to the standards recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
The AAD recommends sun protection products contain broad spectrum coverage, an SPF of 30 or higher, and water or sweat resistance. But four out of every 10 products fell short of the recommendations. [Read more…]