Whole Body Photography
Why Whole-body Photography?
In individuals with numerous pigmented lesions, detecting new lesions or suspicious change in existing lesions by periodic clinical examination alone can be very difficult. A photographic baseline allows your physician to determine if a particular pigmented lesion is unchanged from the time the baseline images were taken, if the lesion is new, or if it is a preexisting lesion that has changed in appearance from the baseline image. Baseline total-body photographs help detect melanoma and dysplastic nevi very early, and minimizes the unnecessary excision of benign moles.
Whole Body Photography is a well-established tool for managing patients at risk for melanoma.
Many of the leading cancer centers, and over 60 percent of dermatology academic centers in the United States, employ this technique to aid in the early detection of suspicious lesions. Body mapping provides an easy, reliable means of accurately comparing and tracking lesions, and conducting total body skin exams. Body mapping has also been used in following psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions.
How is whole-body photography done?
Using a high-resolution, professional medium-format camera, images are taken of the individual’s whole body, utilizing a sequence of poses with very accurate positioning. The poses employed have been standardized, and allow for overlapping total body images.
Once the images have been taken, digitally processed and optimized (the latter for the competing goals of manageable file size versus high-resolution), they are up-loaded into the Mirror Body Mapping software created by Canfield Scientific. The Mirror Body Mapping system, which is used in many academic and private dermatology practices worldwide, creates an organized body map of a patient’s entire skin surface, a photographic baseline. The software then generates an interactive, stand-alone program (DermaGraphix) containing the patient’s body map. This stand-alone DermaGraphix body map, which is given to the patient on a USB 2.0, tier 1 thumb drive, is password protected and meets HIPAA guidelines for patient record confidentiality.
The DermaGraphix body map provides an organized, readily accessible yet confidential, high-resolution body map that may be used during the patient’s periodic clinic visits as a photographic baseline, facilitating detection of new skin lesions, or aiding determination whether pre-existing skin lesions have grown or changed color or shape.
The patient may also use the DermaGraphix body map, at home between clinic visits, for skin self-examinations.