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April 1960

A Simple Method to Minimize Scarring Following Large Punch Biopsies

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

Fellow in Dermatology, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Whyte); Section of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation (Dr. Perry).; From the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. Rochester, Minn. The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(4):520-522. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730040024005

In performing punch biopsies on the skin, two objectives should be kept in mind: (1) to obtain a specimen of skin for the dermatohistopathologist satisfactory for histologic study, and (2) to achieve a cosmetically acceptable scar for the patient. Small biopsy wounds (4 mm. or less in diameter) usually do not present difficulties in this latter respect, but larger punch biopsies create problems with which most practicing dermatologists are painfully familiar. In order to create as small a defect as possible, it is usually necessary to resort to suturing in an attempt to create a linear scar representing the optimum in cosmetic desirability. However, this procedure has one inherent drawback: When the edges of a circular defect are brought together, the distal portions of the wound splay out and pucker up in a nipple-like fashion. This fact frequently forces the dermatologist to resort to excision biopsy, which is much more