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Here's How a New App Aims to Help Treat Acne Breakouts

Here's How a New App Aims to Help Treat Acne Breakouts

Whether it’s a spot on your chin on the day of a major event or a full-blown breakout, dealing with skin issues can be frustrating at the best of times, and painful at the worst.

According to a study by the British Skin Foundation, 95 percent of acne sufferers say it impacts their daily lives, with 63 percent reporting lower self-confidence as a result of their skin.

Skincare brand La Roche-Posay wants to make it easier for you to manage your skin with its new Effaclar Spotscan app, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide skin diagnoses and recommendations for spot-prone skin.

The company’s international senior product manager, Martin Foret, said the app is about meeting the needs of those who are prone to acne.

“Despite 40 percent of adults and up to 80 percent of teenagers being affected by acne, currently only 2 percent of the UK has access to a dermatologist. We built Spotscan to help these men and women with acne-prone skin understand the condition better and identify their recommended skincare routine,” explained Foret.

So how does the Spotscan app work? The app uses AI built on extensive data sourced by dermatologists, including over 6,000 patient photos from a variety of backgrounds, sourced and graded by acne experts.

When you want to check on your skin, the app takes three profile images of the skin, which the AI then scans in order to identify things such as spots, blackheads, and marks left by spots on the skin.

The severity of the skin is then graded from 0 to 4+, using the Dermatologist GEA scale. Using this information, the app will then offer relevant and expert advice, as well as proposing a routine to help manage the skin and minimize breakouts, as well as La Roche-Posay products to try.

When appropriate, the app will even direct patients with more serious acne to a specialist.

What’s really handy is that you can save all the images as a way to track your skin over time and see how the Spotscan recommendations are having an impact.

La Roche-Posay is getting into the beauty tech space in a big way. At CES this year, the company unveiled a new wearable that tracks the pH of skin, as when pH balance is compromised, it can trigger conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.

La Roche-Posay’s parent company, L’Oreal, has an in-house incubator to develop these kinds of technologies.

L’Oreal isn’t the only company making access to specialist skin services like dermatology advice more affordable. Respected British cosmetic doctor, Dr. Tijon Esho, recently launched a subscription model for facial treatments, named Esho Skin Lab.

The idea is that the service encourages people to craft a good ongoing skincare regime, rather than resorting to quick fixes.

Dr Esho said: “One-off treatments can give skin a temporary boost but we know that to achieve great skin, it’s a journey, not an overnight cure, so patients needed successive cumulative treatments which the programme focuses on - it’s like a high-tech gym membership but rather than the result being a great body, the end result is great looking skin.”



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