App lets you show a doctor your, um, rash down there

An app called STD Triage allows you to photograph your fears and have them checked by a dermatologist within 24 hours.

You have to love the boy and girl icons. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sometimes my CNET handlers like to challenge me. Or perhaps they're sending me a discreet message.

Today, for example, one of my knowing leash-pullers sent me details of an app he thought might interest me.

I took one look and wondered what he might have meant, for this was not something I would ever Pinterest.

You see, I now have set indelibly in my mind that there exists an app called STD Triage.

I know you're already slightly ahead of me in understanding what service this app might offer. For it aims to lift the embarrassment from your need to know right now where you've been.

The idea is that you photograph your fears and discomforts. Next, they are reviewed within 24 hours by a licensed dermatologist.

About 20 million Americans a year discover they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us (PDF). But the CDC has also noted (PDF) that STDs are a "hidden epidemic," with many people being too sheepish to report infection.

With STD Triage, your anonymity is guaranteed -- but, of course. Moreover, when you download the app (it is now available on Android as well as iPhone) the cute little icon will not have the word "STD" in it.

Comparing apps is, after all, standard first-date procedure these days. Still, how do you answer the gorgeous target of your desires when he or she asks you: "Triage? That's not a three-in-a-bed app, is it?"

iDoc24, the creators of this obviously vital piece of technology, claim that 70 percent of the pictures they've seen so far show benign cases. (Of, who knows, heat rash perhaps.) For these, methods of self-treatment are recommended.

One of the biggest frustrations the creators have is the startling reluctance of anyone to review it.

Dr. Alexander Börve, iDoc 24 founder, explains: "Reviewing an app might give away the user's real identity, and this topic is embarrassing -- nobody wants to broadcast 'What a great app! I was told I had herpes within 24 hours!'"

Actually, I can think of a couple of people who would happily broadcast that. But they're software engineers, so perhaps that doesn't count.

Though the app itself is free, it does cost $40 to get your answer.

Some might imagine that in an era when we're all texting pictures of our private parts willy-nilly, an app like this mightn't engender too much embarrassment.

Perhaps, though, we all imagine that the images we sext are rather flattering. In this case, it's difficult to imagine they would be.

 

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