Hair & Nail Biopsies

  • Expert grossing and processing of alopecia and nail biopsies for optimal evaluation
  • Guidelines for alopecia biopsies:
    • For suspected non-scarring alopecias, please perform either one 4 mm punch biopsy from affected skin or two separate 4 mm punch biopsies from affected and unaffected skin (please place each punch in a separate container and label as “affected” or “unaffected”).
    • For suspected scarring alopecias, please perform two 4 mm punch biopsies from affected skin and place in the same jar; one will be processed horizontally and one will be processed vertically.
    • Please label specific site on the scalp (eg vertex, occiput). Additional clinical information including history and physical exam description is very helpful for alopecia biopsies. Photos can also be sent securely via email to dermpath@wustl.edu.
    • For additional questions about how to biopsy the scalp for optimal evaluation, please call one of our physicians at 314-362-5757.
  • Guidelines for nail matrix or bed biopsies/excisions:
    • Please label specific site of biopsy (eg matrix, bed, lateral nail fold).
    • If possible, please draw diagram on requisition sheet to show specific location of biopsy.
    • If possible, ink or mark the proximal edge and posterior/ventral surface to aid with orientation at grossing.