Dr Samantha Keegan, Consultant Dermatologist at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Teledermatology Lead, shares some tips and tricks for taking really good quality photographs.
A good photo can be really important to help assess your skin condition accurately.
- Try to use a background that is plain and neutral with no distractions.
- Remove jewellery, make-up and clothing if needed.
- Minimise shadows by placing small body parts like hands or feet flat against a background or on a flat surface.
- For larger areas stand in front of a neutral wall or door.
- Make sure there is sufficient light. Natural lighting is best but if you don’t have any you can use your camera flash. If you use your camera flash, hold the camera a little bit further away.
- Take an establishing image from further away followed by a close up. This will help your dermatologist make sure the correct areas are being assessed.
- If the skin condition is raised, you can take a side-on image to show the size, height and shape of the area.
- Taking photos of a rash or widespread condition can be difficult. Try and show the distribution pattern with establishing shots from distance, the show surface details by taking a series of closer photos. Try and take photos of the most affected areas rather than every area.
- Ask somebody you know for help taking the photos if you need.
- It is very important that photos are in focus. Do not hold your camera too close .
- Always double check and review photos before sending them in to make sure they accurately reflect your condition. If you find them blurry, it is likely your dermatologist will too.
- If you have a skin condition in your genital area that needs to be assessed, this will not be appropriate for a teledermatology review and you will need to talk to your GP.
Watch this guide in other languages
English with British Sign Language
Dr Adita Shah, GP and South West London Dermatology Network Co-Lead
Patryk Gawrysiak, Specialist Physiotherapist in Lymphoedmema, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, GP in Merton
Dr Nazish Mansoor, Associate Specialist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.