It is common for us to ask patients to send us photos to help us with our diagnosis or to allow us to prioritise your care more accurately. Here is a simple guide on how to take a photograph to aid diagnosis.
Guide on how to take a useful photograph to aid diagnosis
Although photographing sometimes seems simple, there are a few rules of thumb that will make it much easier for your doctor to be able to make a diagnosis.
Please make sure the area is well lit. Not flooded with light, but enough light to make the area (for example, a mole on your arm) clear to see, and stand out from the surrounding skin.
Use a plain background
A light coloured sheet or a light coloured wall is ideal.
Some sort of scale
It is important to be able to tell the size of the lesion, so place a tape measure or ruler alongside it. Alternatively, something like a 5p or 10p piece alongside will be very helpful.
Indication of location
In some photographs, it can be very difficult to tell what part of the body the photograph is of. Please make this clear, either in the photograph, or in your accompanying message. The side of the body (right or left) is also important. Sometimes you need to take several photos, one from a distance to show location, and closer ones to show detail.
Indication of orientation
It can sometimes be difficult to tell which way up a photograph is. Please try to make it clear on the photograph which way is up!
Make sure it is in focus!
You would be surprised at the number of images we get sent that are blurry. Do your best to make the photos clear and sharp.