Will a scalp biopsy site be immediately visible to others?
Scalp biopsies are extremely important when performed in the right patient. They can help exclude a variety of causes of hair loss - especially various inflammatory and scarring alopecias. The procedure is a brief 5-10 minute procedure done with local freezing (anesthesia). A stitch is placed in the scalp at the end. For most patients the stitch will not be noticeable to others especially if the sample is taken in an area where neighboring hair can help cover it. If a biopsy is taken from an area which is rather devoid of hair, the stitches may be visible to others for a few weeks.
This photo shows the scalp of a patient who has just finished a biopsy. The area is quite hidden. As the patient leaves the office, nobody would know a biopsy had been performed. The patient can even return to work. Stitches here are dissolving stitches. After a few weeks the area will heal with a small scar. But that scar too should be relatively hidden by neighboring hair.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887