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April 1989

Is Photography Necessary in Following up Patients With Dysplastic Nevi?

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Cleveland Clinic Foundation 9500 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44195

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(4):563-564. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670160111024

To the Editor.—  In the August 1988 issue of the Archives, Slue et al,1 state that total-body photographs facilitate detection of thin malignant melanomas that are in the curable stage. In the same issue, Clark2 reports that, in his experience, in situ and microinvasive melanomas frequently lack distinguishing lesional characteristics recognizable on inspection. He further states that photography should detect both new, small lesions and subtle changes in the previously noted melanocytic lesions and concludes that use of photography is essential in the management of patients with dysplastic nevi.The routine use of total-body photography by dermatologists in following up patients who are believed to be at higher risk for development of melanoma than the general population would be both expensive and time consuming. It may not be practical for dermatologists in practice to obtain total-body photographs.To convince the dermatologic community and the insurance carriers that total-body