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Shave biopsy with inked edges facing in same direction.

Shave Biopsies

Shave procedures are used frequently with removal of skin growths that measure approximately 4 to 5 mm in diameter. A small, spoon-shaped piece of skin is removed using a scalpel. Following tissue processing, the skin shavings may resemble crescent shapes, or small slivers of skin. Embed the cut surface of the skin sliver "on edge" to be cut perpendicularly on the cut surface, so that all the skin layers will be visible on the section. Arrange the pieces so that the hardest portion (typically the epidermis) will meet the microtome blade last. Use the epidermis surface (often marked with ink) to assist orientation. Orient all the skin surfaces and inked edges facing in the same direction.
Carefully press down the thinnest fine points of the slivers to make it easier to obtain a complete section without cutting portions of the specimen pieces away.