Photographing dermatological conditions

Take photos of your skin and email them to dermatologyphotos@svha.org.au
Be sure to include your: 

  • Full name
  • Date of Birth
  • UR number (found in the SMS we sent you)

Good quality of dermatological photos are most helpful in consultations that are not held face to face.

A smart phone can give excellent quality photographs.

Essential tips to achieving this:

  • Hold the phone/camera parallel to the skin. Do not hold at an angle.
  • The phone/camera should be at least 30-45cm away from the skin surface. Closer than this means that focusing is more difficult resulting in blurring and difficulty in interpreting the skin changes in terms of the context of the surrounding skin.
  • Good lighting is important. A well lit room is best either via natural daylight through windows or good ceiling lights.
  • A light source such as a bright lamp or torch shone onto the site leads to a poor quality photo with excessive concentrated brightness and surrounding darkness.
  • Try to avoid shadows or shadowing on the photo (often occurs with use of strong light sources).
  • Consider taking a number of photos at different distances particularly for widespread rashes if necessary (all with device held parallel to skin).
  • Better results generally achieved if another person takes the photographs.

Common mistakes:

Photos taken:

  • Too close to skin surface
  • At an angle
  • Blurred
  • Focused lighting rather good general background lighting.

If photographing a single spot/lesion take photos at 3 different distances:

  • Arms length
  • A hand span
  • A finger length