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Skin Biopsy

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SKIN BIOPSY DEFINITION

A skin biopsy removes tissue or cells on the surface of the largest organ of your body, hence its name. There are three kinds of skin biopsy: Shave biopsy, excisional biopsy, and punch biopsy. How deep and how much of your skin will be taken from you depends on the biopsy type and the reason behind the biopsy.

SKIN BIOPSY PURPOSE

A skin biopsy is perfect for examining and ruling out diseases related to the skin. It's also a great way to remove skin lesions as well as diagnose or treat conditions such as warts, moles, skin tags, infections, cancers, dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, and actinic keratosis.

SKIN BIOPSY RISKS

The risks that you may experience after a skin biopsy include infection, scarring, bruising, bleeding, and an allergic reaction to the topical antibiotic.

SKIN BIOPSY PREPARATION REQUIRED

SKIN BIOPSY
Image: SKIN BIOPSY
Before getting a skin biopsy, inform your healthcare professional if you have a disorder when it comes to bleeding or skin conditions. Tell him about any blood-thinning drugs you've taken, like heparin, warfarin, or aspirin, and of any immunosuppressant medication you've had.

SKIN BIOPSY PROCEDURE

Shave biopsy entails using a double-edged razor or scalpel to cut skin tissue (part of the epidermis) for sampling and analysis. As for excisional biopsy, it entails cutting into the top layer of fat beneath the skin, so there will be stitches needed after the procedure. Finally, punch biopsy uses a circular tool to get the epidermis, dermis, and superficial fat all at once.

SKIN BIOPSY COMPLICATIONS

The foremost complication one has when undergoing a skin biopsy is infection. There are also the possibilities for topical antibiotic allergies, scarring, bruising, and bleeding, although in general, this is a safe procedure.

SKIN BIOPSY SIDE EFFECTS

If you've failed to inform the doctor of y our bleeding conditions or anticoagulant medication, you may experience the side effect of excessive bleeding. Pain and scarring are the most immediate and likeliest of the side effects to befall you after the procedure, followed by infection and an allergic reaction to the topical antibiotic.

SKIN BIOPSY RESULTS

The skin tissue sample will be sent to a lab for testing. The actual results may take several days to even weeks depending on the condition of the skin, the biopsy type, and the lab procedures needed to analyze it. Genetic and metabolic testing will also take extra time, like over several months' worth. Your doctor will schedule a meeting with you once he gets the results.
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