Following a total body skin examination, our doctor will discuss with you. If any worrisome lesion(s) are found, they may be advised for a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy is a procedure to remove cells or skin samples from your body for laboratory examination and look through under a microscope. It is used to diagnose skin conditions including skin cancers and remove abnormal tissue. Sometimes a biopsy may be done a week or two later if the skin condition is not considered severe or life threatening.
If the practitioner feels that an area might require a skin biopsy, it can be undertaken here at The London Cosmetic Clinic. This is where a small amount of skin is surgically removed, after a local anaesthetic has been applied. It does not hurt and may require a small dressing afterwards. The small piece of skin is then sent off to a lab for testing.
If any concern skin lesion, for a precise diagnosis you may be advised to have a skin biopsy. Our doctors will discuss with you regarding the suitable procedure for your condition.
Shave biopsy: A use of a tool similar to a razor to remove a small section of the top layers of skin (epidermis and a portion of the dermis).
Punch biopsy: A use of a circular tool to remove a small core of skin, including deeper layers (epidermis, dermis and superficial fat).
Excisional biopsy: A use of a small knife (scalpel) to remove an entire lump or an area of abnormal skin, including a portion of normal skin down to or through the fatty layer of skin.
Depending on the location of the skin biopsy, you may be asked to undress and change into a clean gown. Our doctor will then clean the area of the skin and mark to outline the biopsy area.
You then receive an anaesthetic injection to numb the biopsy site. The numbing medication can cause a burning sensation in the skin for a few seconds. Afterward, you should not feel any pain or discomfort during the skin biopsy. To make sure the anaesthetic is working before the procedure begins, the doctor or nurse will prick your skin with a needle and ask you if you feel any sensation.
A skin biopsy typically takes about 15 minutes total, including the preparation time, dressing the wound and instructions for at-home care.
Our doctor may instruct you to keep the bandage over the biopsy site until the next day. Continue wound care as instructed until the stitches are removed or, if you don’t have stitches, until the skin is healed.
Our doctor will arrange an appointment for stitches removal and to discuss the results. Healing of the wound can take several weeks but is usually complete within two months. Wounds on the legs and feet tend to heal slower than those on other areas of the body.
Any biopsy will probably leave at least a small scar. Different methods can result in different scars, so if this is a concern, ask the doctor about possible scarring before the biopsy is done.
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