First described by John Debes(1) in 1968, visual literacy (VL) refers to the ability of an observer to derive meaning from images.(2) In addition to understanding the image itself, the wider meaning is considered and deeper critical thinking encouraged.(1,3) In contrast with other medical specialties, the interpretation of visual signs and gross pathology remains key to dermatological practice.(4) Diagnostic accuracy may be increased by careful observation without preconceptions.(4) Thus, description of lesions in dermatological practice may be considered as "the expression of pathological art".(5) On this basis we believe dermatologists should have fluent VL skills, which could be developed throughout their training. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.