Skin Biopsy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue is removed, processed, and examined under a microscope. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these tests in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A skin lesion biopsy is the removal of a piece of skin to diagnose or rule out an illness. Which procedure you have depends on the location, size and type of lump or sore.

Types of skin biopsies include:

Shave biopsy

Punch biopsy

Excisional biopsy, and

Incisional biopsy

The shave biopsy is the least invasive of all three techniques. Your doctor will remove the outermost layers of skin.

Punch biopsies are most often used for deeper skin spots or sores. Your doctor removes a small round piece of skin using a sharp, hollow instrument.

An excisional biopsy is done to remove the entire lesion.

An incisional biopsy takes a piece of a larger growth for examination.

Your doctor may order a skin biopsy if you have signs or symptoms of:

Chronic or acute skin rashes

Noncancerous growths, or

Skin cancer

The test may reveal skin cancers or noncancerous conditions. Once a diagnosis is confirmed with the biopsy, a treatment plan can be started.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.