A novel ultraviolet photography technique for assessing photodamage

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Sep;7(3):205-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00390.x.


Photography is critical to accurately capturing clinical results in cosmetic dermatology. However, this shift from film to digital photography has made the capture of true ultraviolet (UV) images more difficult. Film cameras were developed that used special lighting and film to create true UV images, but this technology has not translated into the digital realm. At present, commercial digital photography systems use computer processing to generate UV-like images from visible light photography. This research developed a technique to obtain UV images with a UV pass glass filter placed in front of the camera lens. The UV filter was opaque to visible light (400-750 nm) with a peak transmission at 360 nm. In addition, a glass infrared (IR) block filter was also placed in front of the UV filter during photography. This research resulted in the development of an affordable digital camera system that was able to capture true UV light photographs. This technique can be used by research and clinical dermatologists to obtain photographs demonstrating changes in photodamage as a result of therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photography / methods*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Aging*
  • Software
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • User-Computer Interface