Skin Biopsy

Skin Biopsy

Do you know what skin biopsy is? Well, A skin biopsy is the removal of a piece of skin for the purpose of further examination in the laboratory using a microscope. Skin biopsies are performed to diagnose a number of conditions.  Skin biopsy is most frequently done to diagnose a skin growth such as a mole, or a skin condition such as a rash. Different techniques are used in different situations. 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 section 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.
After the biopsy, the skin sample is fixed in special solution, and thin sections of the tissue are cut and placed on microscope slides. The slides are stained for examination by a doctor (usually a dermatologist or pathologist). Sometimes specialized stains are used to examine for antibodies, immune proteins, and other markers of certain diseases. Initial routine biopsy results can be obtained in 48 hours or less, while specialized staining techniques can require a much longer time until final results are available.
You should discuss with your doctor the following potential risks and complications of the biopsy procedure. You will need to sign a consent form before the procedure. Possible risks include these:
1. Bleeding from the biopsy site 
2. Pain
3. Local reaction to the anesthetic 
4. Infection 
5. Healing problems - If you tend to form large scars (keloids), you have an increased chance of forming a scar over the biopsy site. Smoking and some chronic medical conditions such as diabetes affect the healing ability of the skin

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