It has happened to all of us. You use a product that looks wonderful on the shelf and the next thing you know, you are having a skin reaction to it.
There are a number of chemicals you may be sensitive to but what should you do next? Will another product be any better?
Enter SkinSAFE, a new web and phone app jointly designed by Dr. James Yiannias and EmpowHER. Dr. Yiannias is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology who has been practicing at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Scottsdale, AZ for over 20 years.
He had been troubled by how difficult it was to help patients track allergens that were causing flare-ups of their eczema and contact dermatitis.
Yiannias would spend large amounts of time reviewing the specific chemical offenders that caused allergies with his patients but they would roll their eyes, overwhelmed with the long names and potential alternate names.
“It was just too much for people to handle,” he said.
Yiannias tried to find a ready-made database of these chemical allergens to help his patients but he could not find one. Instead, he created one named “CARD” for Contact Allergen Replacement Database.
The CARD system has been utilized by the Mayo Clinic for many years and was started by manually entering 5,000 products. A couple of years ago it was made into a phone app so that patients could utilize it when shopping for products to avoid their known allergy offenders.
However, patients cannot use CARD without a dermatologist inputting data about the patient’s known allergies. This is where the new SkinSAFE app will differ from the CARD app.
Currently, known allergies are determined by patch testing, which involves placement of suspected allergen samples against the skin on one’s back for three days then observation for two days with no showering allowed in between.
Our own Michelle King Robson went to see Yiannias for an eczema problem.