Clever smartphone app won't cure acne, but helps you fight it

There's a new health app out there that uses photos from your smartphone to track the health of a person's skin — from acne, pore size and tone. The user takes several close up shots of their face and the app then analyzes their skin condition and assigns a score. Over time this allows a user to create a base on which to evaluate their skin health.

Can it cure a skin condition like acne? Convetionally, no. But what it can do is help a person evaluate whether a certain product is good for your skin, like whether a skin cleanser is working or a makeup brand is clogging your pores. For people who struggle with skin conditions it's a way to track your progress — or lack thereof if a regimen isn't helping.

It does require some work, however. The user takes their picture with a color frame wheel that helps accommodate for differing lighting conditions. They then take shots from various locations on the face: the cheekbone, beside the nose and cheek and around the mouth. From here the app takes over.

A score is assigned to each area and the user can view their skin sample against a binary photo of the area. The binary shots are able to more clearly show subtle changes in bumps or pores. All this can be tracked alongside previous photos so you can track your progress.

The app has been developed by Fujitisu Laboratories in Japan. They plan to roll out the app for women in Japan later this year.

Moving forward, Fujitsu plans to broaden the availability of the app and will develop a broader palette of their color wheel to do so. No word on whether the app would apply for men as well, but presumably once the technology is down pat they could roll out a version that would work for with the differences in their skin.

Perhaps one day curing skin problems will actually be as simple as waving our smart phone over our faces. For now, having a little technological help courtesy of an app is definitely better than just the plain old mirror.

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