Total Body Photography Information for Patients
Total Body Photography is intended to assist proactive management of your melanoma risk by a complete photographic record of your skin and moles. It assists in diagnosing melanoma at the earliest possible stage, by identifying new melanocytic lesions or change in pre-existing melanocytic lesions.
This technique is encouraged to be used in addition to patient self-exams, as patients are more likely to notice any changes to their own skin.
When you return for the comparison photos in 6 – 12 months’ time, the sophisticated software of our Total Body Photography machine compares all your photos and assist in identifying any new moles or changes to moles already on your body.
Compared to self skin examination, Total Body Photography has several advantages:
- The previous record can be used to determine whether a lesion of concern is new or has changed.
- If the doctor determines that a lesion has the criteria for removal, this can be done at the earliest possible stage, reducing the risk of melanoma and minimising surgery.
- If a lesion is new or has changed, but does not reach the threshold for removal, it can be re-imaged and watched carefully.
- Lesions that don’t have atypical dermoscopic changes and have not changed are very unlikely to be melanoma so may not need to be removed, reducing the potential cost, risks and complications of surgery.
Who should undergo Total Body Photography?
Total Body Photography is particularly useful for individuals who have:
- Many moles (more than 50–100)
- Dysplastic or atypical naevi — moles that are large, unusual colour(s) or shapes
- Moles on the back, which may be difficult to keep an eye on
- Previous history of melanoma
- Strong family history of melanoma
- Fair skin that has been severely or repeatedly sunburned
- Concerns about individual moles or freckles, for example because of their appearance or recent change.
What are the risks of Total Body Photography?
- There may be a melanoma in a hidden site that has not been imaged, such as the scalp or genitals.
- Early melanoma and other forms of skin cancer may look like a benign skin lesion, and might be missed (false negative).
- A harmless lesion may be misdiagnosed as melanoma, resulting in unnecessary surgery and alarm (false positive).
- Melanoma may grow rapidly, particularly nodular melanoma; it may reach a dangerous size before the next planned visit.
What happens during the photographic session:
- The photographic session takes 30 minutes and afterwards you’ll have a consultation with Dr Becker.
- A portfolio of 20 – 25 standardised poses will be digitally stored in our rooms and provided in digital format on USB drive if requested by you.
- A new high-tech total body mapping system developed by FOTOFINDER in Germany, called Bodystudio ATBM, uses an automated imaging system to photograph the patient from head to toe.
- In a follow-up session, another set of head to toe images will be captured by ATBM and then it compares them with images from the previous examination.
How to prepare for the procedure
- Make-up: No make-up must be applied.
- Hair: Please bring a hair tie so that no hair is covering skin areas like the face, back, neck and shoulders.
- Jewellery: Please remove all jewellery beforehand.
- Underwear: We ask that underwear be neutral in colour preferably black and of a g-string style / bikini style.
- Nail polish: Please remove before your appointment.
- Fake tan: No fake tan prior to your appointment.
Please phone us for the cost.
There is no Medicare rebate for this procedure. Some Private Health Funds may provide partial reimbursement but it is the patient’s responsibility to investigate this.
Interested In FotoFinder Total Body Photography With Us?
For appointments or general enquiries, speak with our friendly reception staff who will be glad to assist however they are able:
Phone: (02) 6651 7000
Fax: (02) 6651 7010
Address: Suite 214/ Specialist Medical Centre,
343 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
The Australasian College of Dermatologists recognises the dedication and professional service of its Fellows and their commitment to excellence in dermatology.