Teledermatology Tips: Photographing your Skin for Your Virtual Visit

To jump directly to our Teledermatology Photo Tips web page, click here.

As a result of the COVID-19—or coronavirus—pandemic, more and more people are seeing their doctors through virtual care. Receiving medical care virtually achieves a number of things: it keeps people at home during a time when we’re focused on social distancing in order to flatten the curve, which then lessens the chance that people will acquire or spread the coronavirus through contact with others. It also helps determine who needs immediate care and who doesn’t, lessening the burden on emergency departments.

However, virus or no virus, personal health issues still arise, and people need to safely seek medical care.

Teledermatology, or seeing your dermatologist virtually, usually begins with providing your doctor with a high-quality image of your rash or skin complaint. Without a photo that clearly depicts your skin issue, it will be much harder for your dermatologist to make a diagnosis.

When taking photographs of your skin, please keep the following tips in mind:

1. Photos should be well lit. Stand near a window or even go outdoors.

2. Hide visual distractions. Remove excessive jewelry, try to avoid getting patterned clothing in the frame, and find a neutral background such as a wall painted a solid color.

3. Open camera app and hold steady with both hands to avoid blurriness.

4. Focus your photos by touching your phone screen. On most camera apps, you can pinch your fingers together to zoom in if necessary. Retake the picture if it's blurry.

5. Orient the camera parallel to your skin; do not angle up or down. Try to take photos from more than one viewpoint, such as from the side.

To download a reference PDF of even more photography tips CLICK HERE.

If you do have a skin issue during this time, we hope that by following these simple steps you’ll give your dermatologist the most accurate, clear images of your skin and can provide you with the best virtual care possible.

Published on 04/08/2020 | Last updated on 09/03/2020