Most moles and other skin growths are harmless, but a skin biopsy is often needed to rule out cancer or other medical problems.
At Precision Dermatology we can perform skin biopsies in our office to determine if moles or other skin issues are benign, or need to be treated.
What Is A Biopsy?
We will remove skin or cell samples from any areas of concern. These samples are then examined so we can learn more about your condition and rule out certain skin diseases and conditions.
Types of skin biopsies that can be used include:
- Shave: A medical device, much like a razor, is used to remove a small sample from the skin’s top layer.
- Punch: We can use a circular medical tool to remove skin, including the skin’s deeper layers.
- Excisional: A scalpel is used to remove lumps or areas of skin that appear abnormal.
Skin biopsies also can be used to remove lesions. Skin biopsies help us diagnose and treat:
- Blistering skin conditions
- Skin cancers
- Skin infection
- Skin tags
What to Expect
Depending on where on your body the biopsy is being done, you may need to undress and wear a medical gown. Our medical team will clean the biopsy area, and some patients may need a local anesthetic to numb their skin and eliminate any potential minor pain. Most skin biopsies take about 15 minutes. That includes time spent preparing for the procedure, after-care and the instructions we’ll give you on what to expect moving forward.
You may need to wear a bandage on your biopsy site for 24 hours after the procedure.
All biopsies leave a small scar, but these are typically not very noticeable. Biopsies on larger areas may leave larger scars that should fade over time, but every patient is different.
After your biopsy, it’s best not to bump or rub the area that was treated. Also, it’s best to avoid any activity that could stretch skin in the area where the biopsy was performed. This can cause bleeding and may cause your scar to grow.
Healing of the biopsy area can take up to several weeks. Typically, biopsies done on your legs or feet heal more slowly than those done on other areas.
Here are some tips on caring for the biopsy site as it heals:
- Wash hands with soap and water before you touch the biopsied area.
- Wash the site with soap and water. Shampoo can be used following scalp biopsies.
- Rinse the biopsy site well.
- Pat dry using a clean towel.
- Protect the area with a clean adhesive bandage.
Skin biopsies are needed to help doctors determine whether moles and other skin growths are harmless or if they need medical treatment.