Clinical photographs

Photographs can be very useful in helping us decide how to manage a problem. We have the facility to send you a text and for you to reply and send in photographs to the Practice. The following information will enable you to provide us with useful photographs that will help in your care.

  • Ideally, have someone else take the photographs for you.

  • Use a phone or digital camera. If using a phone, use the camera’s main lens not the “selfie” camera. Check the camera lens is clean.

  • Take the photographs where there is lots of natural light or where there is very good artificial light. Avoid using the flash unless necessary.

  • Avoid shadows on the area being photographed.

  • If possible, place the area to be photographed on a plain non-white background.

  • Put the area of interest in the middle of the frame.

  • Keep the area still whilst taking the photograph. Rest the area against something if needed. Hold the camera still as you take the photographs.

  • If photographing a single skin lesion, place a coin or a ruler near the lesion to give an idea of scale.

  • Photographs needed (take several and send the best of each type):

    • Orientation photographs. Stand 3 feet away from the area and take photographs from this distance to show where the problem is located. If a rash, try and include the whole area affected.

    • Close-up photographs. Move the camera to about 4-6 inches from the skin problem and take close-up photographs. Make sure the images are clear and sharply focused. This is more important than getting very close, which may result in blurred images. Blurred photographs are of little clinical value.

    • If a skin lesion is raised, try and get sideways photographs as well – to show the height of the lesion.

  • Remember, only send the best photographs using the link in the text you have been sent. If you can, size the photographs you send to about 1 MB each.

  • Normally, the photographs you send in will be stored in your medical records. If you DO NOT want any of the photographs saved to your medical record, please say so in your text reply.

  • For additional information and examples of taking photographs, please visit this web-link: http://www.pcds.org.uk/clinical-guidance/photography-for-the-patient-how-to-take-a-good-photograph-of-a-skin-conditi

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