A skin biopsy can be performed to determine if a skin abnormality is skin cancer or not. A small piece of tissue is taken and examined. There are several types of biopsies: shave biopsies, punch biopsies, incisional biopsies, and excisional biopsies. Your doctor will let you know which type you need. A small amount of pain may be experienced during the biopsy. Stitches, if needed, will remain in place for at least a few days and up to two weeks. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how a skin biopsy is done, why it may be necessary, and what to expect.