Skin Biopsy

A skin biopsy is a procedure to remove cells or skin samples from your body for laboratory examination. A doctor uses a skin biopsy to diagnose skin conditions and remove abnormal tissue.

The three main types of skin biopsies are:

  • Shave biopsy. A doctor uses a tool similar to a razor to remove a small section of the top layers of skin (epidermis and a portion of the dermis).
  • Punch biopsy. A doctor uses a circular tool to remove a small core of skin, including deeper layers (epidermis, dermis and superficial fat).
  • Excisional biopsy. A doctor uses a small knife (scalpel) to remove an entire lump or an area of abnormal skin, including a portion of normal skin down to or through the fatty layer of skin.

A skin biopsy is used to diagnose or help treat skin conditions and diseases, including:

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Bullous pemphigoid and other blistering skin disorders
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma
  • Skin tags
  • Suspicious moles or other growths
  • Warts
  • Area of the skin to be biopsied is cleaned and marked.
  • Local anesthetic medication is injected to numb the biopsy site.
  • Shave biopsy: a double-edged razor or a scalpel is used to cut the tissue
  • Punch Biopsy: A hollow, circular scalpel is used to cut into a lesion on the skin.
  • The instrument is turned clockwise and counter clockwise to cut down about 4 millimetres (mm) to the layer of fatty tissue below the dermis.
  • Keep the bandage over the biopsy site until the next day.
  • Apply and take medications as instructed by physician
  • All biopsies cause a small scar. Scars fade gradually. The scar's permanent color will be evident one or two years after the biopsy.
  • Cover the site with an adhesive bandage for the first two or three days after the procedure.
  • Healing of the wound can take several weeks, but is usually complete within two months.
  • Skin biopsy sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.
  • Results may take several days or longer, depending on the type of biopsy and the lab's procedures.

What are the benefits & risks of Skin Biopsy?

The outcomes of Skin Biopsy depend on several factors and conditions suffered by the patient in the past.

The benefits of Skin Biopsy include

  • Day care procedure with short procedure time (usually 20-30 minutes) and no downtime.
  • Minimal pain during and after procedure
  • Usually sutures and dressings are not re quired
  • Minimal scarring

A skin biopsy is a generally safe procedure, minor complications like

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Infection

Most of them can be prevented by proper post treatment care as advised by the physician.

Consult with our experienced Doctors

JNU is home to some of the most eminent doctors in the world, most of whom are pioneers in their respective arenas and are renowned for developing innovative and revolutionary procedures