A skin lesion biopsy is a simple outpatient procedure in which a small sample of the patient’s skin is removed and tested in a laboratory. There are several ways the dermatologist can collect a skin sample. A skin biopsy is performed to help determine the cause of a growth, sore or rash.
This could include:
● changing moles
● chronic bacterial or fungal skin infection
● noncancerous growths
● precancerous cells
● skin cancer
● rashes or blistering skin conditions
How Is It Performed?
- A skin lesion biopsy requires little preparation. Depending on the reason for the biopsy – the location, size and type of lesion or sore – the method of biopsy will be decided.
- Before any type of biopsy, the patient is given local anaesthesia to numb the biopsy site.
- Shave biopsy: In this method of biopsy, the dermatologist removes only the outermost layers of the skin with a special razor blade or scalpel.
- Punch biopsy: This method uses a small, tube-like instrument with a sharp end. Once the right sample is taken, the dermatologist removes the skin sample with tweezers and close the incision with a single stitch.
- Excisional biopsy: This method is used to remove the entire lesion. The dermatologist makes an incision and removes the entire lesion.
- Incisional biopsy: This method is used to remove a small part of a larger lesion.
- After the biopsy, the site is covered with gauze and bandaged. The patient will be able to go home once the sample has been taken.