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September 1962

The Versatile Skin Hook

Author Affiliations


Associate Clinical Professor (Dr. Popkin), and Assistant in Clinical Dermatology (Dr. Brodie), New York University Postgraduate Medical School, New York Skin and Cancer Unit.

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Postgraduate Medical School and the Skin and Cancer Unit of New York University Hospital of New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1962;86(3):343-344. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590090085019

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The skin hook is a simple and practical instrument for use in dermatologic surgery. This instrument has been utilized by plastic surgeons for a long time. By means of the skin hook, undesirable trauma to the skin during surgical procedures may be reduced to a minimum. With the reduction in trauma and more gentle handling of skin, there will be a decreased incidence of wound infections and inflammations. This in turn contributes to better wound healing and more desirable cosmetic results.

One of the more common dermatologic uses for the skin hook is during the taking of a punch biopsy (Figure, 1). The specimen may be elevated above the surface so that the scissors may sever the base at the desirable level. This technique avoids forceps "crushing" and provides the dermatopathologist with a nontraumatized specimen. This method was first suggested to us by J. Heinlein.

During undermining, the skin

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