Skin biopsy


What is skin biopsy?

Skin biopsy is a medical procedure whereby an extraction of skin tissue is removed for further examination. This extracted skin tissue will typically be an unusual lump or bump that has formed on the skin. It may also be a mole, ulcer, sore, or any coloured area of the individual’s skin. This out-patient routine surgical procedure is commonly performed by a dermatopathologist but, in certain isolated cases, can also be offered by an oncologist. It is carried out through the incorporation of a local anaesthesia, which helps limit blood loss during the procedure.



What is skin biopsy used to detect?

Skin biopsy is conducted in order to detect skin abnormalities such as psoriasis and eczema, amongst others. This medical treatment is a thorough, close-up microscopic analysis that determines whether or not skin moles, bumps or lumps are cancerous. The doctor responsible for carrying out this quick and painless procedure will extract damaged skin tissue in order to either ultimately diagnose or dismiss serious skin conditions such as skin cancer. Skin biopsy is not recommended in areas where skin rash has developed.


What does the procedure involve?

There are three main types of skin biopsy procedures: the shave biopsy, the punch biopsy, and the excisional biopsy. The shave biopsy enucleation involves a sharp instrument being used to gently tear off the damaged and problematic skin cells. A punch biopsy surgery, meanwhile, sees the responsible doctor operate with the use of a circular tool to detach miniscule sections of skin. Finally, the excisional biopsy skin treatment will typically involve the use of a very small knife in order to extract a whole lump or area of abnormal and damaged skin layers.



Post-operative care

Following your operation, it is vital that you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. It is also extremely important to frequently cleanse and rinse the delicate skin in the aftermath of a skin biopsy operation. The application of Vaseline to the skin is also a recommended routine that you should follow during your recovery time. Healing time will depend on each patient, but it is commonly recommended to keep the biopsied area as moist as possible, especially in the first 24-48 hours after the intervention.




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