Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Skin Biopsy

Skin Biopsy Introduction

Your doctor may want to obtain a sample of skin in order to diagnose diseases of the skin, such as those caused by skin tumors, other types of growths, infections, or other skin conditions. This procedure is called a skin biopsy.

A biopsy of a lesion of the skin, such as in mole removal or tumor removal, can help your doctor tell the difference between a skin cancer and a benign, or noncancerous, lesion. The skin sample obtained during a biopsy is sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope.

How the procedure is performed

  • In an excision biopsy, the entire area of suspect skin is cut out. Excision biopsy is normally done with a scalpel. Stitches are used to close the incision.
  • In a punch biopsy, a sharp cookie cutter - like instrument is used to remove a small cylinder of skin. Sometimes stitches are necessary to close this type of biopsy wound.
  • The outermost part of a lesion can also be shaved off with a scalpel. This is called a shave biopsy.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2014
Medical Author:
Coauthor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Next Page:
1
...

Must Read Articles Related to Skin Biopsy

Heat Rash
Heat Rash Heat rash (prickly heat) is a red or pink rash caused by plugged sweat glands. Symptoms include welts, hives (urticaria), raised red bumps, or itching. Treatmen...learn more >>
Shingles
Shingles Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Initially, the virus causes chickenpox. The virus remains dormant in the body until the virus is re...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Skin Biopsy:

Skin Biopsy - Preparation

How did you prepare for your skin biopsy?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

The Role of Sentinel Node Biopsy in Skin Cancer »

The incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing rapidly, at a rate of 4-8% per year.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary