Five Common Types of Dermatology Skin Testing

Five Common Types of Dermatology Skin Testing

Five Common Types of Dermatology Skin Testing

When you are concerned about a skin issue that seems unusual, it is likely that you’ve made an appointment with your dermatologist to have them take a closer look. As they evaluate your medical history and get an up close view of your skin issue, they may deem it necessary to perform further testing to aide in a diagnosis. As a company that specializes in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we work with many doctors to determine skin conditions on their patients. These are the most common types of dermatology tests we perform.


If your dermatologist considers your skin disorder to be an infection or rash, they will take a few cells off the affected area and perform a culture. Cultures allow the doctor to see if there are any fungus, bacteria, or virus growing on the skin that could indicate a growth or infection.


A biopsy requires a removal of the skin tissues to get a sample that can then be used for further analysis. There are a few different types of biopsies depending on the severity of your skin condition, including:

  • Punch biopsy – Doctors will use a thin, cylindrical tool to penetrate deep tissues and remove a sample from within the body.
  • Shave Biopsy – When the skin issue is contained to the surface of the skin, the doctors can use a razor to shave off a sample from the superficial area of your skin.
  • Wedge excision – If the skin condition is deeper inside the skin layers, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to collect deep tissue samples with the use of a scalpel.

Patch Testing

Most commonly used to detect skin allergies, patch testing involves testing the superficial layers of the skin to detect any reactions. In this testing procedure, small samples of the allergens are placed directly on the skin with the use of bandages, typically on the back of the patient. These areas are then observed over time to determine if any irritation develops.

Skin Prick Testing

Skin prick testing can also be used to determine allergies. In this style of testing, needles will be used to insert up to 40 different allergens into the skin. Skin prick testing is used to test for allergies such as pollen, pet dander, and foods. The skin is scraped a few times to allow for the allergen to enter the skin. Once this occurs, doctors will monitor the patient to watch for any reaction.

Tzanck Testing

Tzanck testing can be used to test viral diseases, such as herpes. In this type of testing, doctors will remove the top of a skin blister to access the inside of the blister. Once the top is removed, they will use a blade to remove cells from the blister and use these cells as samples for further testing with the help of a stain on the slide.

If you are a physician or dermatologist office looking for quality lab testing services for dermatopathology, trust the professionals at Rabkindx. We offer specialty services and consultations to aide in reliable and accurate diagnoses for your patients. Contact us to hear our full range of lab testing services today!



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