Skin Biopsy

Biopsy is a common procedure followed in hospitals to understand better or rule out diseases.  This technique will involve taking cells or tissues from anywhere in the body as a sample for better diagnosis. It is done to either understand more about a person’s disease or to rule out certain other diseases. Biopsy’s are often less invasive and may or may not involve the need of local or general anesthesia.

What is skin biopsy?

Skin biopsy refers to the procedure of doing a biopsy of the skin mostly from areas that have some lesions, patches, ulcers or lumps. To perform a skin biopsy, sample cells from the affected area is removed by means of any of the three procedures.

  • Shave biopsy – sample from the cell/lesion is removed using sterilized blades
  • Punch biopsy – a device helps punch out the sample cells
  • Surgical excision – the complete lesion or affected region is removed and sent for a biopsy test.
  • Incisional biopsy – this method removes only a portion of the large lesion

All the above procedures are done to pathologically understand and determine the diseases or skin condition better by thorough laboratory testing. Skin biopsy helps in providing the right treatment post assessment of the skin condition which would result in better healing and recovery. It is a misconception that a doctor would advise skin biopsy to assess any malignancy alone. In addition to ruling out the presence of cancerous cells, it is used to assess skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, acne inversa, psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions.

Is skin biopsy painful?

Skin biopsy is done with the administration of local anesthesia and hence one would not be able to feel the pain while undergoing the procedure. The numbing of the biopsy site would make it easy for the patient and the doctor would use a tool to pinch of a small portion of the skin/lesion. There could be very slight pain or discomfort post the procedure which would subside in a couple of hours’ time.

Does skin biopsy leave behind a scar?

A skin biopsy could leave behind a small scar. The size of the scar would be dependent on the type of skin biopsy conducted. To know the level of scarring that a biopsy could leave behind, one must talk to the doctor about it. Also, most dermatologists would prescribe an ointment to prevent infection and scarring of the site of biopsy.

How long would it take for the reports post a skin biopsy test?

Skin biopsy results are usually available within a week’s time. In cases where there has to be a need for in-depth analysis, second opinions, understanding of a new strain of virus, bacteria or microbes a longer duration may take for the reports. Also, in cases of analysis of melanoma, new skin diseases, chronic conditions and others, the reports could take a time of up to 6 weeks or beyond. On an average, the skin reports would be available anywhere between 7 to 21 days in most cases.

How is a skin biopsy done on the face or nose?

A skin biopsy on the face or the nose could be done using a circular tool that takes out portions of the affected cells or it could be done as complete surgical excision or a small portion is extracted using a scalpel or surgical blades. The procedure would be done under local anesthesia injected using a small needle that leaves the region with a numbed effect.

The type of biopsy depends on the nature of the mole and any underlying skin conditions. Often, the scars that are left behind after a biopsy on the face is extremely minimal and one that would heal in a couple of weeks’ time.

A skin biopsy test might cause slight swelling, burning and redness which would subside in a day’s time. It is important to follow the post-procedural care that the doctor suggests.

How is skin biopsy on moles done?

A doctor would usually suggest a punch biopsy or an excision biopsy for moles. The tissue is then sent for assessment to understand more about the mole.

How is skin biopsy done on the breast?

A skin biopsy on the breast causes very little to no pain. The area where the biopsy is to be performed is numbed and a punch biopsy or a needle biopsy is done. The cells are further studied to learn and diagnose more about the condition.

What is skin biopsy of a rash?

It is possible to have a skin biopsy done for a rash. A rash could be the result of an inflammatory skin condition or might even occur as a side-effect to medications. The real cause and type of a rash can be analyzed only if a skin biopsy is conducted. The skin biopsy of is generally done using the technique of shave biopsy. A small portion of the rash is removed using a surgical blade or scalpel.

Does doing a skin biopsy lead to infections?

There are chances that the site of a skin biopsy to get infected. It is really important to follow the post procedural care to ensure that the wound heals with no scarring and infection. In case a patient experiences high fever, swelling at the site of biopsy, formation of pus or unbearable pain, one must definitely seek medical attention at the earliest. If you notice, excessive bleeding from the site of the biopsy, the patient must be given immediate and emergency medical care.

How much does a skin biopsy cost in India?

The cost of a skin biopsy depends highly on the type of skin condition, the area of the affected region, the method of biopsy and others. A patient might have to pay anywhere between INR 5000 to INR 25,000 for the biopsy test. This is also dependent on the city and hospital chosen.

What are the pre-procedural and post-procedural care that an individual must take for skin biopsy?

Before a skin biopsy, patients must share all the pre-existing health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetics, blood pressure, any bleeding disorders, history of infections and other conditions. A thorough medical examination is required to be done before doing skin biopsy.

The post-procedural care for a skin biopsy would include:

  • Keep the site of the treatment clean and sterile, especially, if you had been advised dressing the area
  • Apply the prescribed ointment
  • Take medications as suggested by the doctor
  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight at least for a week
  • Avoid swimming and other strenuous physical exercise or activities
  • Take antibiotics and other medications if prescribed
  • In case of stitches, it would be removed in a week or two’s time
  • Deal carefully with the treated region protecting it from accidents/injury
  • Have a wholesome fruit rich diet
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Continue mild and regular exercises

One must strictly follow the post-procedural care that the cosmetologist would suggest, in addition to the above.

In case of excessive bleeding from the site of biopsy, one must immediately call the doctor. As an immediate first aid, one must apply enough pressure to the area to reduce the bleeding until medical attention is obtained. If there is any fever or pus, one must report it to the doctor as soon as possible.

What is the best skin biopsy treatment?

When it comes to skin biopsy treatments, the dermatologist would be the best person to decide on the type of biopsy needed. The area where the skin biopsy is needed will be assessed on various parameters such as severity, the size, shape of the lesion, whether it for a rash or a mole and others. Moreover, the pre-existing medical conditions of the patient, age are all assessed for a safe and effective skin biopsy treatment. To call out a single treatment option as the best would not be possible when it comes to skin biopsy treatment. Although skin biopsy treatments is a routine procedure, it is done with utmost care to get the best results. Every procedure comes with its own pros and cons and it is best advisable to get a good understanding of the procedure that would suit your medical need. A cosmetologist could provide a fact and result based approach depending on your skin needs and health conditions.

How to find skin biopsy doctors near you?

You will need a qualified health care professional like a dermatologist or cosmetologist to help you with a skin biopsy treatment. You could get in touch with these doctors through hospitals or skin care clinics in your locality. For skin biopsy treatment in Chennai, we at Tamira, assist you with qualified cosmetologists and professional staff during and after your treatment.

What makes the skin biopsy treatment at Tamira stay ahead of the rest?

At Tamira, we offer you with end to end assistance in your treatment which would begin with your consultation with highly qualified cosmetologists, selection of the right procedure, treatment plans and post procedural care. We respect every individual’s choice of having cosmetic/aesthetic related procedures and stand by our value of being honest and committed in our care.

Our skin biopsy treatments aim at addressing your skin related issues and finding the root cause for a disease, ruling out any malignancy, understanding autoimmune and other skin conditions better. It would also result in treatment plans that would address your skin care needs yielding better treatment results. We adhere to the safest skin biopsy treatment protocol which involves assessing your skin’s reaction to medications before getting into the complete procedure. After completion of every procedure we also put the individual through a home care skin care routine and treatment. We offer have skin care treatments and procedures curated based on the individuals needs and advice all our patients to consult a qualified cosmetologist or a plastic surgeon specialized in aesthetic treatments to choose the right option for you.

Purpose:

This procedure is requested by dermatologists to narrow down the underlying cause of skin disease. Skin biopsies aid dermatologists in prescribing apt medication, as well as rule out any infections or even malignancy.

A common misconception is that skin biopsies are meant to only determine malignancy. In reality, skin biopsies can be used to test rashes, papules, parasitic infections, inflammatory disorders (psoriasis, dermatitis etc) and cancer among the few.

Procedure:

The procedure includes removing a small portion of the affected skin, prepping and sending the biopsy sample for pathological assessment.

Skin biopsies can be performed using different techniques to suit the lesion.

Types:

  • Shave biopsy – This technique involves scraping the top of the area encompassing the lesion. It is widely used on surface disorders like rashes or psoriasis.
  • Punch biopsy – This method consists of using an instrument called a ‘punch’ to remove a tiny circular section containing all layers of the lesion. It is utilized in cases like parasitical infections, where the subdermal regions are affected.
  • Excisional biopsy – This manner of biopsy comprises removing the entire lesion. It is used for smaller lesions and at times may be used to remove a cancerous lesion.
  • Incisional biopsy – The final approach consists of removing a small portion of a large lesion.

All procedures typically take 20 min to 1 hr to perform. An anaesthetic will be used to numb the area before the procedure. Some techniques of skin biopsy may involve closing the lesion using sutures (depending on the size).

Maintenance:

Skin biopsies may cause redness, irritation, bleeding, scarring and infection. There is no downtime for small lesions, however, the biopsied area may take 1 to 2 weeks to completely heal.

Swimming and vigorous physical activity should be avoided to curb potential infections. Personal hygiene and prescribed after-care should be followed for ideal healing to occur. Results typically arrive from 7 to 14 days after which a follow-up consult may be required.

One must call the doctor’s office if the wound has excessive and uncontrollable bleeding or any signs of infection – such as; fever, pus, red streaks, tenderness and redness.

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Tamira Plastic Surgery

No. 18, Gopalapuram 1st St, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086