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Consensus Statement
May 2017

Proposed Technical Guidelines for the Acquisition of Clinical Images of Skin-Related Conditions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2Centre for Online Health, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Brisbane, Australia
  • 3Department of Dermatology, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 4University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson
  • 5Dermatology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane
  • 6University of Arizona Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research, Tucson
  • 7Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 8Department of Dermatology, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 9Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Austria
  • 10Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(5):453-457. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.6214

Importance  Standardizing dermatological imaging is important to improve monitoring of skin lesions and skin conditions, ensure the availability of high-quality images for teledermatology, and contribute to the development of a robust archive of skin images to be used for research.

Objective  To provide guidelines for the clinical application of the Standards for Dermatological Imaging set forward by the ISIC.

Evidence Review  The ISIC recommendations were developed through a hybrid Delphi methodology. The methods for achieving consensus have been described previously. The practical application of these recommendations was evaluated by 2 clinical photographers with expertise in skin imaging. Images corresponding to each recommendation were taken by a clinical photographer and provided as visual examples of how these recommendations can be implemented in clinical practice.

Results  The Standards for Dermatological Imaging developed by the ISIC members could be followed in the clinical setting. Images showing appropriate lighting, background color, field of view, image orientation, focus and depth of field, resolution, and scale and color calibration were obtained by the clinical photographer, by following the detailed recommendations for regional, close-up and dermoscopic images.

Conclusions and Relevance  Adhering to the recommendations is both feasible and achievable in practice. Adopting these Standards is the first step in achieving international standardization of skin imaging, with the potential to improve clinical outcomes and research activities.