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July 1959

The Epidermal Biopsy: Its Indications and Technique

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(1):95-97. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560190097017

For a number of years we have employed a razor shaving technique for securing superficial skin biopsy specimens, both in clinical practice and in research. The success and simplicity of this procedure prompt us to record our observations for those who may be unfamiliar with such an approach. Furthermore, recent papers on the cutaneous biopsy fail to mention the epidermal biopsy.1-3

In our experience the epidermal biopsy is most useful clinically in the study of superficial lesions of the face, hands, or feet. In these critical areas the significant primary lesion can often be removed as a superficial shaving without the hazard of scarring. The need for a histologic study of areas in which healing may be delayed, such as the lower leg or intertriginous sites, is also a prime indication for the epidermal biopsy. Thus, we have employed this technique with success on superficial fungating masses in