Derm Topics

Top 3 Tips for Performing Nail Biopsies

Next Steps in Derm, in partnership with ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic and Surgical Conference, interviewed Dr. Molly Hinshaw (who is board certified in Dermatology and Dermatopathology, and directs the Nail Clinic at UWHealth in Madison, WI) about nail biopsies. Watch as she offers advice to her fellow dermatologists on preparing themselves (as well as their staff and patients) before this procedure, plus what to expect after surgery.

Further Reading

If you would like to read more about treating nails, check out the following 2 articles recently published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Treatment of Nail Psoriasis


Nail psoriasis has a considerable negative impact on the quality of life by limiting the patient’s household chores, professional activities and social interactions. Treatment for nail psoriasis is often overlooked with treatment for skin and joint involvement being more emphasized. It is also challenging since the clinical improvement takes a long time to be observed and is often met with poor compliance with treatment. This review focuses on the various treatment options for nail psoriasis after review of literature. The literature research considered published journal articles (clinical trials or scientific reviews). Studies were identified by searching electronic databases (MEDLINE and PubMed) and reference lists of respective articles. Only articles available in English were considered for this review. Read the full article here.

Nail Surgery Myths and Truths


Introduction: There is a paucity of randomized trials on nail surgery. Since there are no established guidelines, dermatologists may have false beliefs about best practices in performing nail surgery and post-procedural care.

Methods: We identified five common myths concerning nail surgery. A PubMed search was performed to refute or support these beliefs.

Results: We found compelling evidence that refutes these nail surgery myths. We found that epinephrine can be safely used for nail surgery, hydrogen peroxide and tap water is recommended for wound cleansing, prophylactic topical antibiotics should be avoided, calcium alginate, or amniotic membrane dressings are valuable dressing alternatives, and digital dressings have a low risk profile with precise technique.

Discussion: Randomized controlled trials for nail surgery are lacking. Data from similar fields may guide dermatologists in performing nail surgery. Read the full article here.

About Dr. Molly Hinshaw

Dr. Molly Hinshaw is Associate Professor of Dermatology at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  She has been an invited speaker on all aspects of nail disorders internationally and across the United States.  Dr. Hinshaw has directed American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) nail courses including the Hands On Nail Surgery course and created the first ever cadaver-based nail surgery course for dermatology residents at the University of Wisconsin.  She has lectured on nail pathology at the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP) annual conference. In addition to her clinical work and teaching, Dr. Hinshaw has held numerous leadership appointments within the AAD, Wisconsin Dermatological Society, ASDP and Women’s Dermatologic Society in which she is immediate past president.

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