Dermatology

Skin biopsy

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Diagnosis of skin lesions

Skin biopsy – know your enemy

The word biopsy awakes anxiety in many people. It makes us think of oncological diseases. However, biopsy result does not always mean one thing: a disease. Skin biopsy is a procedure involving taking a small cut of skin with lesions to perform a histopathological examination. It allows you to diagnose skin lesions and thus confirm suspicion of disease or completely exclude it. Biopsy result and proper diagnosis of disease are the basis for implementation of appropriate surgical or pharmacological treatment.

What does skin biopsy look like?

Skin biopsy takes place under local anaesthesia. The skin is briefly anaesthetized with lidocaine or frozen. Before the procedure, your doctor will ask you about your medical history; inform your doctor about all the medicines you are taking and the conditions you are currently suffering from, including coagulation disorders. A piece of skin is taken with a special disposable punch with a diameter of 2 to 5 mm. No sutures are required after the procedure. Results of histopathological examination are available after 3 weeks.

Skin biopsy – indications

If you observe worrying lesions on your skin and there have been cases of skin cancer in your family, you should not underestimate any ailment. Proper medical observation and early diagnosis of skin lesions often make it possible to cure a disease completely. You can control skin lesions e.g. through dermatoscopy. However, in certain cases your doctor may order skin biopsy. Indications for skin biopsy include:
  • suspicion of skin cancer
  • precancerous conditions of the skin
  • connective tissue diseases (including systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma),
  • inflammatory skin diseases
  • changes in the mucous membrane of the mouth
  • changes in the mucous membranes of the genitals
  • suspicion of skin lymphoma
  • psoriasis

Indications after the procedure

Change dry dressings after prior disinfection with Octenisept until your skin heals.

Skin biopsy – Contraindications

Contraindications for skin biopsy:

  • allergy to lidocaine in the preparation for local skin anaesthesia
  • blood coagulation disorders
  • taking blood thinning medications (e.g. Aspirin, Sintrom, etc.)

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