Three Types of Skin Biopsies

Three Types of Skin Biopsies

Three Types of Skin Biopsies

Have you noticed an irregular or misshapen growth on your skin?  Have you developed a skin irritation that is itchy, bumpy, or red?  These are reasons why you should visit the dermatologist.  When you visit your dermatologist to get your skin checked out, you may hear your doctor recommend a skin biopsy.  Skin biopsies remove a sample of your skin for further examination and testing.  These are used to help diagnose or eliminate skin disorders.  By using the experts in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we examine the results of the biopsy to help determine the cause of your skin irritation and get you on the right course of treatment.  There are three main types of skin biopsies.

Shave Biopsy

When your doctor performs a shave biopsy, they use a tool that looks like razor to remove only a small section off the top layer of your skin.  This way, they can use those skin cells to help determine the cause of your symptoms.  This type of biopsy may cause bleeding that can be stopped by applying pressure to the site.  Many times, doctors will simply apply pressure and put a bandage over the site of the biopsy.  This can typically occur in the doctor's office at the time of the visit.

Punch Biopsy

A punch biopsy requires doctors to remove a small section of your skin including a few more layers by using a circular tool.  This requires them to go through the epidermis, dermis, and the superficial fat underneath.  Because this involves cutting into the top layer of fat underneath the skin, it will typically require stitches to close the wound.  

Excisional Biopsy

This type of biopsy is the most involved.  A doctor uses a scalpel to remove an entire lump or an area of abnormal or concerning skin.  Because this is a more involved procedure, it will also require stitches to properly close the wound.  It will then be required to bandage in order to prevent infection and to stop any bleeding.  Your doctor may also instruct you to clean and redress the wound.  Excisional biopsies may also leave a scar on the skin.

These are the three main types of skin biopsies collected by dermatologists to help diagnose skin diseases.  Skin biopsies are normal part of a dermatologist's practice, as they perform many each day they are on the job.  When you notice a strange looking growth or you have developed an irritation on your skin, it is important to see a doctor to help get the treatment you need.  Those who specialize in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA will help to diagnose skin disorders and diseases along with their team of doctors and dermatologists.  Contact us today to hear about our diagnostic services.




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