A shave biopsy is very similar to a punch biopsy due to its purpose. A shave biopsy is meant to provide the physician with a sample of tissue from the area of the skin that is in question in order to determine if it is cancerous or from other causes. In a shave biopsy, a doctor uses a sharp tool, double-edged razor or scalpel to cut the tissue. The depth of the incision varies depending on the type of biopsy and the part of the body being biopsied. A shave biopsy causes bleeding, but the bleeding is stopped by applying pressure to the area or by a combination of pressure and a topical medication applied to the biopsy site. Generally, shave biopsies are used for more shallow samples taken from the skin unlike punch and excisional biopsies. However, if the wound is deep enough to be stitched, the physician may choose to do so. Like stitching a punch biopsy wound, the skin will need to be stretched and relaxed prior to the procedure to allow a linear stitch for proper healing.