Punch Excision

Latest update: February 27, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Punch excision can treat small scars. This procedure uses a small, sharp device that looks like a cookie-cutter to remove the scar.

After doctors remove the scar, the wound is closed with sutures. Punch excision can treat deep, indented scars, including those resulting from shave removal of a mole, ice-pick acne scars, moles, and other small lesions. The technique is not the most precise procedure. The device could puncture deeper than it needs to, extracting too much skin. 

Surgeons can complete the removal of the scar in just one procedure. Patients will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area. At the same time, doctors select the correct size tool based on the scar's size.  Punch tools are available in 1-10mm sizes.   The doctor inserts it into the skin to punch around the scar and sutures the site up.

Punch grafting uses the punch tool to remove pieces of skin and transplant them to other areas of the body. This procedure helps re-pigment skin in vitiligo patients.

Another treatment option is punch elevation, which lifts indented scars and levels them with the surrounding skin. A C-punch is a tool that can reach subcutaneous tissue to treat conditions like lipoma.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
1 week

Dilated Pore - Punch Excision

This video, from Dermatology and Skincare Associates in Mason, Ohio, shows a Punch Excision. The procedure is carried out on a patient with a dilated pore on his cheek. The doctor explains what he is doing and performs the procedure on camera. He gives advice on how to care for the resultant wound and sutures it up.

Punch Excision! Cysts, Warts, Pimple Pops and Dermatology Videos!

Dr. John Gilmore sees a patient with a mole on her back that she has had all her life but that has recently started to bleed and change. She has come to Dr. Gilmore to have the mole biopsied and removed. Dr. Gilmore explains the procedure as he performs it and interacts with the patient throughout. The video shows a Punch Excision procedure from beginning to end and contains medical footage.