Information on how to take the best photographs of your skin lesion or rash.

Use a background

Backgrounds should be plain and dark (if possible) providing no distraction from the area of interest.

To avoid shadows in the photo, place the skin in contact with a background surface Consider using flash as general office or household lighting may not be enough (see images in the PDF below).

Good overhead lighting is ideal.

Take an initial image, followed by a close up

We need three photos of each area of interest:

  1. An image showing the location on the body
  2. A view of the lesion or rash
  3. A close up image of the lesion or worst affected area in the case of a rash

Take more than one image

When taking a photograph, the camera needs to be taken from above and face onto the lesion.

To demonstrate the size and shape of the lesion, you could consider taking additional image views

Auto focus on the lesion

Images must be in focus for the dermatologist to review. Most smartphone cameras have a built-in auto-focus feature. You may need to wait a second for the auto-focus to find the lesion. If your camera is too close to the lesion this usually results in an out of focus photograph.

5 MB is the limit

Consider setting your camera or smartphone image resolution to a lower setting (such as ‘medium’). Most NHS computers have a limit to the file size of any attachment which can be opened in emails to a maximum of 5MB.

Email your photographs to the Dermatology Department at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust using the following address:

Include your full name and date of birth in the subject line of the email. In order to store the images as part of your health record we will need consent, so can you please type the following into the email:

Your name (patient’s name)

I consent to the attached images being stored as part of my health record for monitoring purposes only.

For under 18 year olds, please add the parent’s name.

Printable version of this page

How to take the best photographs of your skin lesion GHPI1577_01_23 Department: Dermatology Review due: January 2026 PDF, 1.5 MB, 2 pages
Reference number GHPI1577_01_23
Department Dermatology
Review due January 2026