When a suspicious mole or rash affects your body’s largest organ, a skin biopsy can be an important diagnostic tool. It can also be cause for concern, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. Learn more about this procedure and what it entails.
What Is a Skin Biopsy?
A skin biopsy is essentially the removal of cells or skin samples for further examination. Through this process, your doctor can either diagnose or rule out specific types of diseases or skin conditions. It may also be performed to remove lesions.
There are three primary types of skin biopsy: shave biopsy, punch biopsy and excisional biopsy. While each of these is performed a bit differently, there are still some universal things you should know or expect going into the procedure.
Skin Biopsy : 3 Quick Facts
- Unlike some medical procedures, you won’t typically need to fast or otherwise prepare in advance for a skin biopsy, unless you’re specifically instructed otherwise by your doctor.
- For a shave biopsy, you should expect your doctor to use a scalpel or razor-like tool to remove some tissue from the surface of your skin. This will cause some bleeding, which is typically stopped by applying pressure and a topical ointment.
- A punch or excisional biopsy may require stitches to close the wound, followed by a dressing to keep the wound clean and protected while it heals. From the first preparation to the final dressing of the wound, most skin biopsy procedures will take 15 to 20 minutes.
A skin biopsy can be a valuable tool for the detection of some serious skin conditions, including skin cancer. If you have concerns about a mole, rash or new mark on your skin, call us today at Family Diagnostic Clinic. Our expert care staff will work to ensure you have a comfortable experience while getting the answers you need regarding the health of your skin.