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Whole Body Photography - Baseline to Mole Mapping

Whole body photography involves taking a series of photographs encompassing almost all the skin on the patient’s body. The whole body photography images are used as a baseline to track existing moles, new moles, and other skin changes. Both patient and physician receive copies of the images on CD.

Don Allen Studios offers whole body photography as one of its many medical photography services. Studies have shown that whole body photography is an important tool in helping track skin changes that could indicate skin cancer.

After a baseline is established through whole body photography, future examinations of the skin are compared to the whole body photography images, allowing a reliable method of tracking changes. Physician exams are essential, but more frequent patient self-exams are also quite important.

The first whole body photography procedure provides a baseline view of the skin. Subsequent procedures allow a dermatologist to track any changes in the patient’s skin, such as new moles, changes in existing moles, or any other skin changes.

Whole body photography can save lives. While whole body photography is not the only method of detecting skin changes, studies have shown that whole body photography is quite effective in the early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers. While melanoma can be difficult to treat in its advanced stages, it is treatable when caught early.

Whole body photography also helps reduce anxiety in patients with a high risk of developing skin cancer. These patients are often instructed to conduct self examinations, but without a baseline to work from, patients must rely on memory. As a result, patients are often anxious about benign moles and often schedule unnecessary appointments.

When dermatologists must rely on memory, they often excise benign moles, adding to patient anxiety and expense. High-quality whole body photography images offer physicians a diagnosis tool that is far more reliable than memory. Melanoma is a deadly disease, and with early detection it’s treatable, so such a tool should be taken seriously.

While the majority of dermatologists use whole body photography, there are a significant number who do not. We would urge those dermatologists who do not use whole body photography to carefully review studies on its effectiveness.

Even when whole body photography is not the primary method of skin cancer detection (typically when the dermatologist prefers to excise all suspicious moles and skin changes), using these baseline images for comparison is a valuable aid.

The use of digital photography is important because it allows the physician to zoom in on a particular mole, making it easier for him or her to assess its characteristics. The most common indicators of cancerous moles are their shape, color, and growth rate. Therefore, high quality whole body photography is essential.

Only highly trained medical photographers should be hired for whole body photography, in order to ensure that the baseline images are as accurate as they must be in order to be effective.

Don Allen Studios transfers the whole body photography images to CD using MoleMap CD™, a highly respected whole body photography software program. MoleMap is clearer than chart notes, easier to manage than slides or paper photos, and allows enlarged viewing of specific areas instantly.

At Don Allen Studios, we understand that whole body photography can be a sensitive issue for patients. That’s why we have both male and female photographers on staff. When patients call to make their whole body photography appointments, they should be sure to indicate whether or not they have a preference for a male or female photographer. We also process photos on site, ensuring privacy and confidentiality.

At Don Allen Studios, we understand the life-saving potential of whole body photography. With over 50 years experience as medical photographers, we have a strong knowledge of the medical profession and of the important differences between medical photography and other forms of photography. Dermatologists and their patients can trust us to create the most reliable, useful, high-quality whole body photography images possible. We’re DonAllenStudios.com, the most trusted name in whole body photography.