Current state of imaging in dermatology

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2016 Mar;35(1):2-8. doi: 10.12788/j.sder.2016.001.


Medical imaging has dramatically transformed the practice of medicine, especially the field of dermatology. Imaging is used to facilitate the transfer of information between providers, document cutaneous disease, assess response to therapy, and plays a crucial role in monitoring and diagnosing skin cancer. Advancements in imaging technology and overall improved quality of imaging have augmented the utility of photography. We provide an overview of current imaging technologies used in dermatology with a focus on their role in skin cancer diagnosis. Future technologies include three-dimensional, total-body photography, mobile smartphone applications, and computerassisted diagnostic devices. With these advancements, we are better equipped to capture and monitor skin conditions longitudinally and achieve improved diagnostic accuracy of skin cancer.

Keywords: confocal microscopy; dermoscopy; imaging; multispectral imaging; optical coherence tomography; photography; total body photography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology / methods*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*