Skin simulators for dermatological procedures

Xiaojie Wang, Yasser Albahrani, Michael Pan, Jacob Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: A variety of skin simulators are available on which to practice procedures; however, choice of a suboptimal substitute compromises realism and productive practice. Objective: Skin simulators for basic dermatological procedures are reviewed. Methods: The authors’ anecdotal experience with various skin simulators for different procedures is shared. Results: The following simulators are suggested: an unripe banana for elliptical excision, pork belly for undermining, pork belly for simple interrupted and buried suture, capped needle on a human shoulder for intramuscular injection, ripe tomato or hotdog with skin for intradermal injection, eggplant for shave biopsy, pork belly for punch biopsy, plastic tape over a dark surface for cryosurgery, and beef liver for electrosurgery. Flaps are best practiced with foam sandwiched between foam tape or artificial anatomical models created specifically for this purpose. Limitations: The utility of one simulator over another was not compared in a controlled study. Conclusion: Efficient, realistic skin simulators are readily available for practice, which should enhance the safety of the practitioner and improve outcomes of novices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDermatology Online Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Buried suture
  • Cryosurgery
  • Electrosurgery
  • Elliptical excision
  • Flaps
  • Grafts
  • Intramuscular injection
  • KOH
  • Local anaesthesia
  • Procedure
  • Punch biopsy
  • Shave biopsy
  • Simple interrupted suture
  • Simple suture
  • Skin substitute
  • Suture
  • Undermining
  • Venipuncture


Dive into the research topics of 'Skin simulators for dermatological procedures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this