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How to Take and Send Photos to Your Doctor

Tips for Taking Photos

To help your doctor assess your health concern, snap photos and attach in your myChart message. The photos you send are secure and will only be viewed by your care team as part of your medical record.

Inside the myChart app on your smartphone or from the myChart webpage, when you create a Medical Advice message to your provider, you can attach up to 3 images.  These can be attached from your camera album or you can capture from your smartphone camera as you compose the message. 

Use these tips to ensure your photos are clear and useful for your doctor.

  • Take photos in a brightly lit room or in daylight to avoid shadows.
  • Use a solid background (white or blue work well).
  • Avoid using a flash.
  • Have someone else take the photo, if possible.
  • Point the phone or camera directly at the area of concern and tap the screen to focus the image (if you're using a smartphone).
  • Take at least 2 photos, one from 4 feet away (distance) and one from 6 inches away (close up). Avoid using the zoom feature on your smartphone for the close-up.  Make sure to include all parts of the body that have the problem. 
  • Make certain that the photos are in focus and sharp before submitting.  Retake the image if needed.

Additional directions for skin conditions:

  • Draw a dot on either side of a growth with a pen or marker before taking the photo.
  • Take photos that show both sides of both hands and/or both feet for rashes on these body parts (including fingernails and toenails).

What to Include in the Message: 

We suggest you include the following details about your health concern in the email to your doctor with your attached photos:

  • Location. For example, "right arm between the elbow and the shoulder."
  • Size. For example, "about 2 inches wide."
  • Color. For example, "light pink" or "dark red."
  • Duration. How long you’ve had the problem and how it’s changed over time (size, shape, color).
  • Symptoms. Describe briefly. For example, “rash is bumpy and rough, swollen or inflamed, burning, itching, very sensitive, and painful.”
  • Attempts at treating. What, if any, home or other treatment have you tried? How successful were they?

Adapted from Kaiser Permanente.