Dermatologic Surgery

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​Warning: do not submit a manuscript without carefully reading these instructions. Manuscripts which do not follow all instructions will be sent back to the author, or in some cases rejected outright. This wastes time for both the authors and the journal.

Instructions for Authors
Dermatologic Surgery (DSS) publishes peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of reconstructive and cosmetic dermatologic surgery, and oncology, including surgical hair restoration and phlebology (venous disease). We welcome clinical and experimental studies, descriptions of novel surgical procedures, review articles, and interesting case reports. DSS is the official publication for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American College of Mohs Surgery, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the Dermatologic & Aesthetic Surgery International League and the Taiwan Society for Dermatological and Aesthetic Surgery

Manuscript Submission
All manuscripts should be submitted electronically at New authors should use the “create new account" button. Manuscripts should be submitted in a Word document only. DO NOT UPLOAD PDFs. Manuscripts received either incomplete, or without the proper forms, or those that fail to follow the following instructions will not be reviewed for publication.

All potential conflicts should be declared using the conflict forms for this journal. This includes conflicts resulting from the authors' pre-conceived assumptions of the results of a study, before the study is even performed. A completed and signed copyright transfer form and a conflict of interest form are required for EACH author

The Copyright Transfer and Conflict of Interest Forms, available at our website , should be scanned and submitted with the manuscript. Alternatively, these documents can be emailed to the  editorial office at [email protected]

The author can expect accepted manuscripts to be published within three months of acceptance. Online publication usually precedes print publication.  The Editor in Chief has the final say on whether a manuscript is published. The decision is based on peer reviews from assistant editors and reviewers, authors correctly following the instructions listed here, and the pertinence of the material to our surgically oriented readers.

Most submissions that are eventually accepted require revisions recommended by the reviewers. Revising a manuscript does not guarantee its publication. Authors who respond rapidly to these revision requests will accelerate the peer review process. The editors may choose to solicit a senior commentary to accompany accepted manuscripts in print. The editors may also choose to publish some, or all, of a manuscript's content online only.

Types of Manuscripts

 Original Articles: Randomized, controlled clinical trials are much more likely to be accepted for publication than personal observations. We prioritize studies that include outcomes and outcome tools that have been systematically validated.  Authors should have experts in statistics confirm the accuracy of their data before composing a manuscript. Studies with small numbers of subjects are not robust enough for statistical claims. Please do not apply statistical packages or claim p values for a small N.

Review Articles should be a comprehensive review of a single subject, including maximum of 50 pertinent references, especially the recent ones from this journal. Subjects for reviews should be broad enough to be of interest to readers and adequately supported by prior research, but they should be sufficiently narrow to be feasibly addressed in the limited page-space available and to add to clinical knowledge in the area. For instance, a review of “treatment of scars" may be excessively broad, as complete coverage of this topic would likely require a long monograph or even a book; a better subject might be “treatment of acne scars with energy devices." Literature searches underpinning a review should be systematic and explore all major index databases and information sources that may be relevant.

Structured reviews should be designed to address a specific clinical question and analyze the pertinent literature to obtain an answer to this question. Such reviews can assist dermatologic surgeons in clinical decision-making. For example, a review might aim to answer the question “What is the most effective means for reduction of post-operative infection after surgery on the ear?" or “How can filler injection-associated bruising be prevented?"

Structured reviews may include meta-analyses. A meta-analysis is a quantitative approach that statistically combines the results of two or more studies. This differs from more simple structured reviews, which focus more on qualitative rather than quantitative analysis of the available data.

Regardless of the type of review article you choose to prepare, please be aware that such articles must be evidence-based. Furthermore, please be sure to identify levels of evidence associated with various findings and to discriminate between levels of evidence. As an example, if your source data includes information from randomized controlled trials as well as cohort studies, you would want to identify the former as a higher level of evidence and rely more heavily on RCT findings in developing your final conclusions. To better understand this process, please consider perusing the reviews prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration. Once you have found the best available evidence, please label each finding you include in your review with the appropriate level of evidence (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford: 1a-5), and draw conclusions (using GRADE) based on the best evidence. For more information regarding CEBM levels and GRADE ratings, see:

Communications (including Case Reports, How We Do It, Practice Gaps, Innovations, and Research Letters)
The editors recognize the inherent value of short reports in defining unusual manifestations/extent of a disease or innovative refinements in management.Many submitted articles are too long and include an extensive review of the literature that would be better left to textbooks. To be considered for publication, a Communications manuscript must contain new or innovative information of relevant value and interest to the readership. What is new or innovative should be stated clearly and succinctly within the first sentence or two of the introductory paragraph of the manuscript so the editor can judge its novelty accordingly. Such reports should be procedure-oriented, as this is the main interest of our readership. Similarly, a “great" case or example of a repair will be rejected if not new or innovative. Case reports that expand into lengthy reviews of the literature are not acceptable.

Reconstruction Conundrum manuscripts challenge the reader to think through alternatives to repairs of cutaneous defects. Three high quality photographs should be submitted: one of the wound to be reconstructed with no planned incisions on the image (there should be no markings of the intended repair, or initial incisions of the contemplated repair, on the pre-operative conundrum figure); an immediate post-reconstruction photograph; as well as a long-term follow-up photograph no less than 6 months postoperatively.  Cases with specific educational merit are needed.  The author should include specific reasons for choosing the method of reconstruction as well as alternative approaches.  The case should be presented in two parts: an initial presentation of the conundrum that the defect presents along with a brief patient history and a second portion with the immediate post-reconstruction and a long-term follow-up photograph. The discussion of salient educational points should be made here.   Abstracts and References are NOT necessary, but up to five references may be included. Do not include the type of repair in the title.

Authorship and Word Limits

For Original Articles and Review Articles, manuscripts should not exceed 5 authors, 3,500 words, including tables, legends, and references, and 16 figures (before-and-after photographs count as two figures, data figures count as tables). A maximum of three tables and/or data figures will be accepted for original and review articles, as long as the guidelines below on Tables and Data Figures are followed. Communications and Reconstructive Conundrums are allowed one table or data figure and four pictures maximum.

Multi-center trials may include more than 5 authors as long as each author fulfills the uniform requirements for authorship. Manuscripts authored by personnel from a single institution can also list more than five authors, and no more than ten, as long as all listed authors meet all the qualifications for authorship described below.

To obtain this waiver the submitting author should place a request on the cover page, immediately after the author list, noting that the research was covered by an IRB and/or that it involved extensive mining of a prospective or retrospective database, and that formal statistical tests were performed and reported.  Levels 1 or 2 levels of evidence such as those found in  prospective, randomized trials and systematic reviews or meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials would be most likely to qualify for increased authorship. One example of non “level 1 or 2" level of evidence that may also qualify is  a study on a large database like a national cancer registry

 “Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3. When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. List other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being personally responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments." (

Paid medical editors who help organize the development of the manuscript and contribute to the writing should be listed as authors. This includes professional medical writers; and their names, affiliations, and conflicts of interest must be included among the authors. “Guest" (or honorary) authorship (individuals who are listed despite not qualifying for authorship, such as heads of departments not directly involved with research) are inappropriate and should be avoided. Articles should include as authors only those who have contributed substantially to the work. Other contributors can be listed in Acknowledgements.

 A completed and signed copyright transfer form is required for EACH author

Case Reports, Communications, Reconstructive Conundrums, and How We Do It manuscripts should not exceed 4 authors, 1,000 words, 5 references, and 4 figures. The word count includes tables, data figures, and references. Communications are allowed only one table or graph (see below under Tables and Data Figures). 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Authoring Tools

Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must be transparent in disclosing in the Materials and Methods (or similar section) of the paper how the AI tool was used and which tool was used. Authors are fully responsible for the content of their manuscript, even those parts produced by an AI tool, and are thus liable for any breach of publication ethics.​

Manuscript Construction

All manuscripts should be concise. Authors whose manuscripts exceed these limits or whose work could be presented more concisely will be asked to reduce the length of their manuscripts.

Only one mention of trade names is allowed in the Introduction. After that use of generic terms is required.

The manuscript must be the original work of the author(s). If similar material has been published in another language, it is protected by copyright and cannot be published again in English. Attempting to publish similar material in two or more journals is PLAGIARISM and violates copyright laws. Any suspected cases of plagiarism will be carefully investigated. Authors guilty of plagiarism will be banned from publishing in Dermatologic Surgery, and similar journals will be notified, as well as appropriate academic institutions.

The manuscript must be written in appropriate English. The publisher cannot correct poor grammar. It is the author's responsibility to ensure this by either having sufficient English-language skills or by obtaining the services of a native English-speaking expert. Manuscripts with poor English grammar will be returned to the authors for revision. If you are not a native English speaker, we strongly recommend that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission. Professional editing will mean that reviewers are better able to read and assess your manuscript. For a list of professional services that can assist you, please refer to the instructions and forms option on the Manuscript Central site or see:

Manuscripts should be clearly written.


Avoid hedging or the use of “weasel words": See:​

All manuscripts should be typed double-spaced using font size 12 and submitted in the following order: title page, structural abstract, text, references, tables and figure legends. Only generic names for drugs and equipment can be used. See table below for abbreviations. The title should not contain the commercial name of any device or drug. The commercial name can be briefly noted in the beginning body of the text and then referred to by a generic name throughout the rest of the manuscript such as

Juvederm Ultra XC
Juvederm Ultra Plus XC

All measurement units should be in accordance with the American Medical Association policy of SI units (Système International d'Unités). Abbreviations cannot be used. Exceptions are those in common use (e.g., DNA, RNA), which must be spelled out at first mention with the abbreviation appearing in parentheses, for example, “ultraviolet A (UVA)."

Manuscripts reporting data obtained from research conducted in human subjects must include assurance that informed consent was obtained from each patient. In addition, the manuscript must include a statement within the Materials and Methods section that the study protocol conformed to the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki as reflected in its approval by the institution's or an independent human research review committee. If such a committee is not available, a statement to the effect that the principles of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki were followed must be provided within the Materials and Methods section.

Tables and Data Figures

There has been a recent tendency for authors to submit numerous tables and data figures which often repeat the same information in the text. We have limited pages in each issue, and it is a priority for the editors to present material which is most concise and useful for the readership.

Long tables and data figures, especially those which repeat what is stated in the text, will be rejected.

Tables should be concise and only used to summarize key concepts. Tables containing raw subject data should not be submitted, nor should tables or figures be submitted which demonstrate how research was conducted for a review article (such as Prisma charts). In Review Articles, please do not include tables with article-by-article listings of the ones reviewed. Please cite the articles in the text only.

Tables should be no more than 13 lines long and narrow enough to be published in a portrait mode. Widetables which only fit in a landscape mode will be rejected or published online only.

A maximum of three tables and/or data figures will be accepted for original and review articles, as long as the above guidelines are followed. Communications are allowed only one table or data figure.

All tables should be supplied in a docx file format only.

Pre- and post-op figures should have similar lighting and color so that readers can accurately determine results. All figures must be submitted electronically according to the specifications outlined below. Failure to submit images according to these specifications will result in reproductions that are small and illegible or in images that are declined. Figures must depict the results accurately. They must be easily understandable. The legends and headings must accurately reflect the content of the images.

1. Color photographs should be saved in CMYK as TIF or JPG files at 300 dpi at 5 inches in width.

2. New line drawings should be prepared in PowerPoint without embedded images from other sources.

3. Existing line drawings should be scanned at 1200 dpi at a minimum of 12.5 cm (5 in) in width and saved as EPS files (flow charts must not exceed 7 inches [18 cm] in width).

4. Photomicrographs are expected to be of professional and publishable quality.  Our publication benchmark for photomicrographs are images obtained from slide scanning.  Please be sure before manuscript submission that photomicrographs are in focus, have been white balanced, and clearly demonstrate the histopathologic features described in the text.  See the section on Figure Legends for proper reporting of magnifications for photomicrographs.

Any existing images added to Microsoft Word or PowerPoint will be rejected. Send original TIF, JPEG, or EPS files. All lettering should be done professionally and be of adequate size to retain clarity after reduction (final lettering size in print is 1.5 mm high or larger). It is understood that figures will be reproduced at a width of one column (approx.. 12 cm or 2 inches), two columns (approx.. 26.5 cm or 4 5/8 inches), or at three columns (approx.. 40 cm or 6 5/8 inches). All figures must be referred to specifically in the text and numbered in order of appearance. All recognizable photographs of patients MUST be accompanied by a patient statement of permission/consent for reproduction. No exceptions. Written permission must be included from both the author and the publisher to reproduce any previously published illustration(s).

The manipulation of photographs by computer or other means may include a vast array of changes. These include addition of text or graphics, change of color, brightness, or contrast: enlargement; or other changes to image quality. Processes that destroy photographs in order to deceive an audience represent unethical manipulation. Distortion of photographs may be achieved by over- or under-exposure of the file at the time of photography or through computer manipulation. ASDS considers the manipulation of photographs used in presentation to patients, the media, in journals, or at scientific meetings for the purpose of deceiving the audience to be against the ethical standards of the Society.

We encourage the submission of online videos that enhance print articles. All videos must be approved by the editors. Poor quality or lengthy videos will not be accepted. Videos should be cited in the manuscript (example of a video citation: “See video online for an example of this closure"). Videos should not be longer than 4 minutes in length.

File Requirements

To ensure a quality experience for those viewing supplemental digital content, the following file requirements should be followed: 

Acceptable File Types

Text files and TablesAny format or file type is acceptable
Common file extensions include: .doc, xls,.docx, .xlsx
Figures and Images.tif, .eps, .ppt, .pptx, .ppsx, .jpg*, .pdf*, .gif*
*Only acceptable for online-only figures. Figures intended to be printed in the journal may not be submitted as .jpg or .pdf file types.
Audio.mp3, .wma, .wav
Video.wmv, .swf, .flv, .mov, .qt, .mp4, .avi, .mpg, .mpeg, .m4v

Acceptable File Sizes

Up to 10 MBAll file types are supported up to 10MB.
Up to 100MBFor audio or video files greater than 10 MBs.
  Audio: .mp3 (strictly enforced)
  Video: .wmv, .swf, .flv, .mpg, .mpeg, .m4v, .mov, .mp4 (strictly enforced)


HELP: How to check the properties of a file:

  • Right-click on the file and choose “Properties."
  • Click the tab labeled “Summary."
  • Sometimes different information may show on the “Advanced" tab of the “Properties" or “Summary" pages.
  • For video files, you may need to open the file in a media player and then view the files via the media player.

    Unacceptable File Types

We do not accept the following file types because of their potential for playback errors:

  • Audio / Video Interchange (.avi)
  • DVD / CD disc rips (.vob, .ifo, .bup, .iso, .img)
    • This includes any file that is obtained by copying files from a DVD movie disc or files obtained through a DVD disc or CD disc image rip. 

Supplemental Digital Content (SDC)
SDC may include standard media such as text documents, graphs, audio, video, etc. On the Attach Files page of the submission process, please select Supplemental Audio, Video, or Data for your uploaded file as the Submission Item. If an article with SDC is accepted, our production staff will create a URL with the SDC file. The URL will be placed in the call-out within the article. SDC files arenot copy-edited by LWW staff; they will be presented digitally as submitted. For a list of all available file types and detailed instructions, please visit

SDC Call-outs
Supplemental Digital Content must be cited consecutively in the text of the submitted manuscript. Citations should include the type of material submitted (Audio, Figure, Table, etc.), be clearly labeled as “Supplemental Digital Content," include the sequential list number, and provide a description of the supplemental content. All descriptive text should be included in the call-out as it will not appear elsewhere in the article.
We performed many tests on the degrees of flexibility in the elbow (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, which demonstrates elbow flexibility) and found our results to be inconclusive.

List of Supplemental Digital Content
A listing of Supplemental Digital Content must be submitted at the end of the manuscript file. Include the SDC number and file type of the Supplemental Digital Content. This text will be removed by our production staff and will not be published in the print version.
Supplemental Digital Content 1.wmv

Title Page
The title should be no more than 150 characters long, including letters and spaces; a short supplementary subtitle is permitted. Please do not use abbreviations in the title.

1. Authors' full names, professional degrees, academic degrees, and academic titles.

2. Principal author's address, telephone and fax number, and e-mail address.

3. Name(s) of institution(s) and department(s) where work was performed.

4. The name and address of the person to whom all correspondence and reprint requests should be sent also appears on this sheet.

5. Word Count (including figures and tables), Figure Count, Table Count

6. Full Disclosure of each author

A short title of no more than 30 characters and spaces should be provided at the bottom of the page as a running head.

A structural abstract of 200 words or less that accurately reflects the content of the submission must be furnished for all Original and Review Articles. (Letters, Communications(Brief reports, Case Reports, How I do Its, and Practice Gaps ), and Reconstructive Conundrums, do not require an abstract.) Do not use abbreviations, and employ colloquial English using “the" and “a" where appropriate. Trade names may not be used. The Abstracts for Original and Review Articles must employ the following format and headings:

1. Background—a brief discussion of the subject.

2. Objective—the purpose of the work to be described.

3. Methods & Materials—how and with what the work was performed.

4. Results—the outcome of the work.

5. Conclusion—the conclusion that can be reached based on the work described.

For general information on preparing structured abstracts, see Haynes RB, Mulrow CD, Huth EJ, Altman DG, Gardner MJ. More informative abstracts revisited. Ann Intern Med 1990; 113:69–76.

Checklist for Planning Original Articles
*Introduction: Does it provide appropriate and relevant background information? Does it clearly state the problem being investigated or the topic being discussed?
*Methods: Is the design of the study suitable for answering the question posed? Is there accurate explanation of how the data was collected? Does the article clearly state the procedures followed? If the methods are new, have they been explained in detail?
*Results: interpretation of results should not be included in this section. Are the results clearly laid out and in a logical sequence? If applicable, are the statistics correct? If authors are not comfortable with statistics, they should contract with a statistician to confirm results.
*Conclusions: Are the conclusions supported by the results? Are the conclusions reasonable? Is there an explanation of how the results relate to their expectations? Does the article support or contradict previously published literature? If this is a pilot study, does it recommend further study?

References in DSS adhere to the specifications of the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" promulgated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (Vancouver Group). Examples of specific types of references are listed below.

Journal Article (up to four authors)
Carruthers A, Carruthers J. Prospective, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, dose-ranging study of Botulinum toxin Type A in men with glabellar rhytids. Dermatol Surg 2005;31:1297–303.

Journal Article (more than four authors)
Rex J, Paradelo C, Mangas C, Hilari JM, et al. Single-institution experience in the management of patients with clinical stage I and II cutaneous melanoma: results of sentinel lymph node biopsy in 240 cases. Dermatol Surg 2005; 31:1385–93.

Coleman WP, Lawrence N. Skin resurfacing. Baltimore:William and Wilkins; 1998.

Chapter in a Book
Brody HJ, Alt TT. Chemical peeling. In: Coleman WP, Hanke CW, Alt TH, Asken S, editors. Cosmetic surgery of the skin: principles and techniques. Philadelphia: B.C. Decker; 1991. p. 65–88.

References should be identified in the text by superscript figures (e.g., 3) or on the line with parentheses (e.g., (3)). Each reference must be cited in the text. References are numbered consecutively in the order they appear in the text. Work “in press" includes all publishing information, for example, journal, volume, and year of publication, or city, book publisher, and year of publication. Unpublished data, personal communications, submitted manuscripts, papers presented at meetings, and non–peer-reviewed publications cannot be submitted as references sources and only appear in parentheses in the text (e.g., Roenigk RK, personal communication, December 1990). Abbreviations of journal titles should conform to those used in Index Medicus, National Library of Medicine. The style and punctuation of the reference list should follow the format of “Uniform Requirements" examples of which are listed above. All references must be been checked for accuracy. 

Figure Legends
Numbers are Arabic and must correspond to the order in which the illustrations occur in the text. All abbreviations appearing in the illustrations should be identified at the end of each legend. The type of stain and magnification power should be given for all photomicrographs (e.g., H&E, 300x). For photomicrograph legends, please remember to report the total magnification (ocular x objective), and not the magnification of the objective used.  The permission statement for a previously published illustration as indicated by the copyright holder must be included in the figure legend.

Do not expand into discussion in the legends. Please restrict the legend to only identifying details of the picture.

Cover Letter
A brief cover letter should be included and point out any special circumstances that the editors should be aware of. The authors should indicate any commercial associations with any product(s) or device(s) described in the article.


Before submitting be sure that you have followed all the above instructions. Manuscripts which exceed restrictions on authors, words, tables, figures or references will be unsubmitted. This will result in delay of your peer review, and in some cases will lead to immediate rejection.​