Everything You Wanted To Know About Skin Biopsies

What is a skin biopsy, you might have wondered. A biopsy is a piece of skin that we take to look under the microscope to render a diagnosis. It is not meant for treatment. It is easy and can help save a life by picking up a cancer. Watch how easy it can be!


Skin Biopsy

A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue is removed, and examined under a microscope. We typically do a skin biopsy in order to check for skin cancer.

Skin biopsies are done on moles that have changed in shape, size, or color (anything abnormal). It is critical to schedule routine skin exams with a dermatologists because skin cancers are the most common type of cancer.

A skin biopsy may also be done to help diagnose skin conditions such as psoriasis, or bacterial/fungal skin infections.

Prior to the biopsy, make sure to tell your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking as this may affect the results of the biopsy. And as always, tell your dermatologist about any medication allergies or latex allergies.

Types Of Skin Biopsies

Depending on the size and area of concern, your dermatologist will select from one of these types of biopsies.

In a shave biopsy, a scalpel or surgical knife is used to shave off the growth. Don’t worry we use a local anesthetic to numb the area first. Any bleeding usually stops by applying pressure. Then the biopsy site is covered with a sterile bandage. This is what Dr. Kormeili demonstrated in the video above.

In a punch biopsy, after we inject local anesthetic, a small sharp tool called a punch, is placed over the lesion. Similar to a cookie cutter, when you push down on it, it removes a circular piece of skin. If a large skin sample is taken, then you may need a couple of stitches. We apply pressure to stop the bleeding and then cover the wound with a sterile dressing.

The third type of skin biopsy is called an excision. Here we first inject local anesthetic, we need removal the entire lesion with a surgical knife. Then we stitch up the wound, stop the bleeding, and cover the wound with dressing.

If you haven’t had your skin examined in a while, we highly recommend that you schedule a skin consultation. Remember, skin checks help save lives! Contact us to schedule an appointment.


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