Skin biopsies are performed to help with the diagnosis of your skin condition. Sometimes, different skin conditions can look similar to the naked eye so additional information is required. This is obtained by looking at the structure of the skin under the microscope after the cells have been stained with special colored dyes. The degree of invasiveness also varies depending what type of biopsy is being performed. One type of biopsy where Dr. Numb can be used is the shave biopsy. This procedure can be described uncomfortable to painful, that is why a numbing agent like Dr. Numb is used.
There are two situations in which this usually occurs:
- To distinguish between different types of rashes or skin lesions. The dermatologist maybe considering a number of possible diagnoses, and the skin biopsy provides additional information in this process.
- The dermatologist suspects askin cancer. A biopsy is taken to confirm that the skin cancer is present. The biopsy may also give information on the type of skin cancer, which may determine the best treatment.
- Your dermatologist will explain why the skin biopsy is needed and the particular procedure involved.
- Shortly before the skin biopsy, a numbing cream will be administered to make the procedure painless.
- The dermatologist will perform the skin biopsy. A pushing sensation may be felt in the area where the skin biopsy is being performed but there should not be any pain. Pain should be reported to the doctor during the biopsy.
- A dressing will usually be applied to the site of the biopsy. This should be left in place for the first 24 hours. After which, the dressing can be removed.
The result of the biopsy usually takes about one week for the doctor to obtain the result from the pathology laboratory, but can sometimes take longer if special stains are required. There will be a small scar left after the skin biopsy site has healed.
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