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What to Expect From a Skin Biopsy

Your skin is your largest organ, but like any other organ, it’s susceptible to damage and other health concerns. Irritation, infection, and even cancer can impact the health of your skin and your overall well-being.

A skin biopsy is a common test to evaluate suspicious areas of skin. It’s a simple procedure during which we remove a sample of skin and then send it to a laboratory for testing. Skin biopsies are very common when skin cancer or certain other skin conditions are suspected.

Elvira Klause, MD, and our surgical team are trained in a variety of common dermatological conditions and testing, including skin biopsy. Skin biopsies are quick, effective tests that help diagnose a variety of serious skin conditions that can compromise your health.

Learn more about what to expect with a skin biopsy here, then book your first appointment with Dr. Klause today.

When you need a skin biopsy

We can diagnose many types of skin conditions with a physical exam. Acne, rosacea, and eczema are common skin conditions that are generally simple to identify by looking at affected areas.

But certain skin conditions, like skin cancer and suspicious moles, aren’t always so simple to diagnose. When this is the case, we take a closer look with a skin biopsy to see what’s going on.

A skin biopsy can help Dr. Klause diagnose skin conditions that include:

If you have a skin concern, make an appointment with Dr. Klause. When you get a skin biopsy, you can get an accurate diagnosis so your health care team can effectively treat your condition.

What happens during a skin biopsy

Skin biopsies are generally performed in an outpatient setting, and most procedures take about 15 minutes. When you arrive, our team prepares you for the procedure by numbing the area around the lesion with an anesthetic injection.

Dr. Klause may use one of three different types of skin biopsy, depending on your skin and condition. Shave biopsies involve shaving a thin layer of skin off the surface of a lesion. Punch biopsies take a sample of all layers of a lesion, while excisional biopsies cut out an entire lesion or a sample of a larger lesion.

Once the sample is removed, Dr. Klause closes the incision. You can leave the office shortly after your procedure, but you should follow our guidelines for recovery. Keep a bandage over the area and avoid bumping it for a few days.

Common side effects of skin biopsies include bleeding and bruising. Complete healing can take up to two months, and many people develop small scars at the biopsy site.

Dr. Klause sends your skin sample to a laboratory for testing once your biopsy is complete. Results may take a few weeks to come back, and Dr. Klause may schedule a follow-up appointment to review your diagnosis.

Depending on the results of your biopsy, Dr. Klause works with you to determine the next steps. Many types of skin cancer are best treated with removal surgeries to prevent cancer cells from spreading. If necessary, Dr. Klause can refer you to another provider for other skin conditions like psoriasis and actinic keratosis.

Trust Dr. Klause and our team for the best in skin biopsies and other dermatologic procedures. Find out more by calling our office or requesting a consultation online today.

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