biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue
is removed, processed, and examined under a microscope.
from a skin biopsy usually are available in 3 to 10 days.
The skin sample consists of normal skin
Noncancerous (benign) growths are seen.
Benign growths do not contain cancer cells. Benign skin changes include moles,
cherry angiomas, and benign skin tumors, such as
neurofibromas or dermatofibromas.
Cancer cells such as
basal cell cancer,
squamous cell cancer, or
melanoma are present.
Other diseases such as
vasculitis are present.
fungal infection is present.
Your doctor will talk with you about
any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.
What Affects the Test
Taking medicines, such as
anti-inflammatory medicines, those used for fungal infections (antifungal
corticosteroid skin creams, can interfere with your
test or the accuracy of the results.
What To Think About
- If the biopsy contains cancer cells, more
surgery will be needed to remove the cancer completely.
- If the
biopsy is done on your face, you may want to have it done by a doctor who
specializes in surgical techniques that can minimize scarring, such as a
plastic surgeon or
- Further testing may be
- A small biopsy does not contain enough
cells to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Cells from the abnormal area
weren't included in the sample.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
||March 28, 2011