LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Optimizing curettage with a ‘backhand’
Article first published online: 6 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2012 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume 27, Issue 1, page e139, January 2013
How to Cite
Kapadia, A. and Hussain, W. (2013), Optimizing curettage with a ‘backhand’. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 27: e139. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04459.x
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 6 FEB 2012
Editor Curettage is a simple and common dermatological surgical technique used to remove benign and malignant skin lesions.1 In the United Kingdom disposable ring curettes are the most commonly used instruments to perform curettage compared with the traditional -metallic spoon-shaped instruments.2
When performing curettage the operator may apply the ‘fountain-pen technique’ or ‘potato peeler technique’.3 Typically a lesion is curetted by using the sharp edge of a ring curette by moving the hand in a downward and inward motion (towards the operator) (Fig. 1). This vector of movement, however, has a tendency to create a deep wound, especially in the atrophic, fragile skin of the elderly.
A subtle variation (combined with a knowledge of racket sports!) in the above technique, however, can minimize the tendency to produce a deep wound. By simply initiating the curettage as a ‘backhand’ (i.e. moving up and away from the operator, Fig. 2) as opposed to the aforementioned ‘forehand’ technique, the risk of producing a deep wound is minimized and in our experience results in superior healing and ultimately a better cosmetic outcome.