Scalp Biopsies

Avoid the Central Part If Possible

Scalp biopsies are  helpful in situations where the diagnosis is not clear. If a biopsy needs to be performed, the sample should first and foremost be obtained from an area on the scalp that is most likely to display the histological features of the disease in question. However, one must also try to take a biopsy from an area that will hide any scar that may eventually form.

One of the easiest places to do a scalp biopsy is the central scalp right on the "central part line." This is rarely ever a good idea as the patient is likely to have a visible scar in the area for the rest of his or her life. Except in rare circumstances, there is usually no need to take a biopsy exactly on the central part.

A site 1-2 cm away from the area often serves equally well. If a biopsy must be taken from the central part, the patient should be warned about the potential for extreme visibility of the scar that will form in the area. The patient in this picture had a biopsy (BX) taken years ago from the central part (shown in green circle). The scar is obvious and regardless of the hairstyle chosen, it is challenging to hide.

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

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