Why Would I Need A Skin Biopsy?

When a doctor performs a skin biopsy on you, the doctor removes a small part of your skin, analyzes it, and looks at it under the microscope. “This is a sample, a piece of the bigger skin, usually removed for diagnostic purposes,” shares Dr. Azeen Sadeghian, board certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA. In this case, the doctor suspects your skin is telling a deeper story and he or she wants to find out if something is medically wrong.

It is not always necessary to have your skin biopsied, but here are some of the most common reasons that your dermatologist may choose to do so:

Top three reasons for doing a skin biopsy

 1. Skin cancer. Different types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, show themselves with symptoms such as:

  • new skin growth  or a previous skin growth
  • that changes in size and color
  • inflamed skin or scabs that don’t heal
  • dark spots on the skin with irregular borders that may scab or bleed
  • clusters of dark bumps
  • large moles

 2. Inflammatory skin conditions. “Psoriasis, blistering disorders, drug reactions, or many other types of rashes may need to be biopsied to confirm diagnosis,” shares Dr. Sadeghian.

 3. Skin infections caused by bacteria or fungus

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