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July 1989

Photographic Cures for Dermatologic Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Photography Section, Department of Dermatology, New York (NY) University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(7):960-962. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670190094013

Pictures never lie. True or false? The truth is that photographs of cutaneous conditions, unless great care is taken, can be deceptive. Many variables determine the final photograph, and control of these variables will determine how accurately the clinical features are documented.

The first variable is the film used. Not only must the same type of film be used throughout a study, but the same emulsion batch must also be used. The number of the emulsion batch is seen on the outside of the film box. Different film types or emulsion batches can result in a different display of grain, color, hues, and contrasts. If a study is being done to show the difference in red hues as in the treatment of hemangiomas or port-wine stains, it is important to maintain a constant color rendition.

As important as constancy of film type is the processing of both color and black-and-white

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