A skin biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small sample of skin tissue is removed for examination under a microscope. This procedure is commonly performed to diagnose or rule out various skin conditions, such as skin cancers, inflammatory skin diseases, infections, or other abnormalities. A dermatologist or a trained healthcare professional typically carries out the biopsy.
Here’s an overview of the common types of skin biopsies:
A circular tool, called a punch, is used to remove a small, cylindrical section of the skin.
This type of biopsy is often employed for lesions, rashes, or suspected skin cancers.
A thin layer of the abnormal skin is shaved off using a scalpel or similar instrument.
Shave biopsies are commonly used for superficial lesions or skin growths.
The entire abnormal area, along with a margin of normal skin, is surgically removed.
Excisional biopsies are often performed when a more extensive tissue sample is needed.
Only a portion of the abnormal tissue is removed for examination.
This type of biopsy is useful when a small section of a larger lesion is sufficient for diagnosis.
The reasons for a skin biopsy may include:
Diagnosis: To identify the cause of a skin lesion, rash, or growth.
Cancer Evaluation: To determine if a suspicious mole or lesion is cancerous, and if so, to identify the type of skin cancer.
Treatment Planning: To guide the treatment approach for certain skin conditions.
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