Shave Biopsy

August 1st, 2010

Shave biopsies are the most useful and versatile type of biopsies utilized by a dermatologist.  I prefer a sterile double edge razor blade which can be flexed to remove flat lesions in their entirety or kept level to remove the upper portion of a lesion.  Some dermatologists use a 15 blade which I find very rigid and unable to provide the same degree of precision as the double edge.  A shave biopsy has many advantages such as  sutures are not needed to close the wound.  Over 1-2 weeks the wound heals by secondary intention as a scab forms shortly after the biopsy and falls off when the skin has regenerated underneath.  In terms of scarring, the shave biopsy typically leaves a more aesthetic scar for raised lesions that are leveled flush with the skin, but the scar is generally less attractive for flat lesions that are removed in their entirety leaving a wider flat circular scar.  Typically, lesions are biopsied with a shave and rashes are biopsied with a punch biopsy.Dermablade