Absorption of UV light by melanin can be used to visualize damage in the skin pigmentation, especially in the white population with skin types I through III.1- 4 Therefore, UV photography is excellent for visualizing even distinct skin pigmentation as well as for educating patients. New systems using visible and UV light are currently available. A recently developed image analysis software approach requires only photographs taken with a standard digital camera (Figure 1). The software, which is based on local contrast enhancement methods using the shorter wavelengths of visible light, can generate a monochrome image within a few seconds (Figure 2). The resulting printout or screen image can be discussed immediately with the patient: "One picture is worth a thousand words."5 Ultraviolet photography can also be used in evaluating the progress of patients during treatment as well as in educating individuals about how to prevent overexposure to UV light.
Photograph of a 33-year-old woman with Fitzpatrick skin type II taken with a digital camera.
Alterations in skin pigmentation, which were nearly invisible in Figure 1, are clearly visible in the analyzed image.
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