A skin biopsy may sound serious — and it is — but it’s also a vital part of what dermatologists like Dr. Jeannette Hudgens do.
It’s an easy and highly effective way for us to determine whether a mole, skin growth, irregularity or other skin condition has any possibility of being or becoming cancerous. A skin biopsy also can detect other medical problems, or simply tell us your skin growth or bump is harmless.
We perform biopsies right in our Windermere, Florida offices at Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, and can find out within a few days whether your mole or growth is in need of treatment, or is benign.
What It Is
A skin biopsy is a simple and quick procedure, in which our doctor gently takes a small sample of skin or cells from any growth, mole or area of concern on your skin. It’s then examined by our trained laboratory staff so that we can tell you whether the condition is cancerous, or we can eliminate some skin diseases from consideration.
We use a few different kinds of biopsies, depending on what’s needed. We can do a shave biopsy, where a small razor-like blade scrapes a small sample of cells from the top layer of your skin. If the growth or problem is found in deeper levels of the skin, a punch biopsy is used. In this type of procedure, a small circular medical tool removes a deeper skin biopsy sample and one or two stitches are placed to close the skin back up to allow for healing.
Finally, if the growth, lump, or abnormal area of skin is something we feel can and should be removed for biopsy, we can perform an excisional biopsy with a scalpel and remove the entire affected area or growth. This type of biopsy is also used to remove skin lesions in some conditions.
How Do They Help?
Skin biopsies are key to diagnosing many skin conditions, which leads to quicker, more effective and better treatment. We use them in many cases, not just cases where skin cancers are suspected, although that may be the most familiar use to many people. They also assist in diagnosis of blistering skin conditions, dermatitis, psoriasis, skin infections, skin tags, moles and warts.
The biopsy sample is examined for signs of abnormal cells, damaged cells, the presence of infection and other factors that can tell us what is going on with your skin. Results usually are quick and will always be reviewed with you personally by a member of our staff.
In addition, before any biopsy, we will review the procedure with you so you know what to expect. Most skin biopsies take no longer than 15 minutes and are quick outpatient visits to our Windermere, Florida offices.
If you have any questions about your skin biopsy or feel you have an abnormal growth or mole you would like to get checked out, please contact us at any time at Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center. It’s always better to biopsy a worrying skin condition and find nothing harmful than to let it go for too long untreated and put yourself at higher risk of illness or complications.