As medical illustrators, we are frequently asked to produce photographic documentation of skin
conditions, described largely to us as ‘wounds’. Under the blanket terminology of ‘wound’
however, there are numerous wound classifications that are used to further define the wound type,
which provide clinicians with more significant clinical information from which to determine a
specific care plan for the patient. Photographs of a wound are often requested by clinicians to
support the patient care plan by providing a visual aid to monitor wound progression, over a
prolonged period of time. The intervals for photography are dependent upon the type of wound.
Acute wounds typically progress more quickly and therefore should be photographed at each
dressing change. Chronic wounds develop more slowly therefore there is little benefit to
photographing this type of wound any more frequently than every 2-4 weeks otherwise evaluation
of progress will be made more difficult (local guidelines for frequency of photography should be
followed). It is important however, to photograph a wound if any significant changes occur as this
may have implications upon the course of treatment.