Finding a suspicious mole on your skin can be a distressing experience. In some cases, your dermatologist may suggest a skin biopsy. Although this may sound serious, a skin biopsy is usually a simple and pain-free procedure. Our doctors typically perform biopsies in one of two ways. Depending on the nature of the lesion, we will typically conduct either a shave biopsy or a punch biopsy. During a shave biopsy, a blade is drawn just under the surface of the affected skin area to extract the lesion. For a punch biopsy, the doctor will use a pencil-like tool to make a small, round incision in the skin to remove the lesion. Both operations are straightforward and can be completed in a matter of minutes.
After the skin tissue has been removed, we will send the sample to a pathologist, who will determine whether the lesion is harmless or if it is potentially dangerous. Being recommended for a skin biopsy does not necessarily mean you have skin cancer; in many cases, the results will come back and show that the lesion occurred due to non-threatening factors. In such cases, further treatment would not be necessary. Even if it is determined that the lesion is cancerous, rest assured—we have many ways to deal with skin cancer both quickly and effectively. In most cases, that too will be a smooth process.
Taking care of your skin is of the utmost importance, and can make a life-saving difference when addressed quickly. Skin biopsies can detect forms of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma—an easily curable form of cancer if treated swiftly, but potentially deadly if left untreated. Especially because skin biopsies can be performed so easily, we strongly recommend that you seek out professional advice as soon as possible.
Learn more about biopsies from Dr. Julie Cronk:
To ensure that your skin health is treated as soon as possible, we offer same day and next day appointments. Your health is too valuable to jeopardize by hesitating to address odd-looking marks on your skin. Please take advantage of our same and next day appointments to schedule a skin biopsy and take the first step toward responsible skin care.