THE SCALP BIOPSY
What is a scalp biopsy?
A scalp biopsy is a short 10-20 minute office based procedure that allows your physician to take a sample of a few of your hairs and the skin surrounding those hairs. Many hair loss conditions can only be accurately diagnosed with a scalp biopsy.
Steps in a Scalp biopsy
1. The patient is seated comfortably in a reclining chair (similar to a dentist chair)
2. The area on the scalp to be biopsied is outlined with a marker
3. Freezing medicine (i.e. anesthetic or numbing medicine) is injected into the scalp in that small area
4. A period of 3-4 minutes is given to allow the freezing to take effect
5. A punch apparatus (shown on the right) is used to take a sample about 4 mm wide
6. Once the skin and hair sample is removed, the area is stitched up (sutured)
7. The patient returns for stitch removal in 2 weeks
8. Biopsy results are typically available in 2-4 weeks.