Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Most "Dog-Ears" Show Complete Resolution

Dermatol Surg; ePub 2017 Sep 19; Jennings, et al

When an excision is performed by a method other than elliptical excision, direct primary wound closure can result in standing cones or "dog-ears." Dog-ears on the hand and dog-ears ≤4 mm on the trunk, however, may be observed without any final cosmetic penalty, according to a recent study. After tumor extirpation, patients in this study were counseled that primary closure of the surgical wound would result in dog-ears at the wound apices. Dog-ears were left uncorrected in participating patients; a total of 140 dog-ears were observed. At 6 months, patients were assessed for resolution of the dog-ears and asked to rate the appearance of the scar. Researchers found:

  • Anatomical locations included the hand/foot, trunk, limb, and head/neck.
  • Among these dog-ears, 114/140 (81%) showed complete resolution.
  • Patient satisfaction with the scar appearance correlated well with the dog-ear resolution, with most patients rating the appearance of the scar as good to excellent.


Jennings TA, Keane J, Varma R, Walsh SB, Huang CC. Observation of dog-ear regression by anatomical location. [Published online ahead of print September 19, 2017]. Dermatol Surg. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001186.

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