It is evident that these apps are a great initial starting point for those slowly introducing themselves to the world of skincare. They can help you understand your skin, the source of the issue and introduce you to potential treatments. Despite the success stories, dermatologists argue that they simply do not have the ability to properly diagnose or
advise. "Access to dermatologists can be difficult in the UK and nearly everyone has a smartphone so you can see why this may be appealing," says Dr Anjali Mahto
, consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide To Great Skin
. She continues: "But there is a potential for harm to come to patients, especially if the app hasn’t been tested or validated and recommendations are not in line with existing guidelines." Dr Holly Cole-Hawkins of the Waterhouse Young Clinic
agrees. "Mobile technology boosting people’s engagement is good news, however apps shouldn’t be used in isolation to diagnose or treat medical conditions. We use the Visia Complexion Analysis in clinic, which is a skin scanning device. It is useful as it quantifies and tracks an individual’s skin in a reproducible way, but ultimately, the diagnosis and treatment approach still comes from the clinician."