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A skin biopsy is the removal of a small portion of abnormal skin. The removed skin is tested to see why it is not normal. There are three main types of skin biopsies:
- Shave biopsy—The outer part of the suspect area is removed.
- Punch biopsy—A small cylinder of skin is removed using a punch tool.
- Excisional biopsy—The entire area of abnormal skin is removed.
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A skin biopsy is used to evaluate and/or remove an area of abnormal skin. It is most often done for the following reasons:
- To diagnose bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, cancer , inflammatory skin disorders (such as psoriasis ), or benign skin growths
- To verify the presence of normal skin at the edge of an area where a tumor was removed
- To monitor the effectiveness of a treatment
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a skin biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Poor wound healing
- Nerve damage
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Bleeding disorders
- Circulatory problems
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Any new symptoms
In case of...