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.