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How is a skin biopsy done?

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A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor cuts and removes a small sample of skin to have it tested. It's usually done in the doctor's office.

First they'll cleanse the biopsy site, then numb the skin with an anesthetic (pain-relieving) injection. They'll take a sample of the lesion with a sharp tool. For a shave biopsy, you probably won't need stitches. Punch, excisional, and incisional biopsies will sometimes be closed with sutures or steri-strips.

After the tissue is processed, a pathologist looks the sample under a microscope to check for any disease. The results usually come back within 1-2 weeks.

From: Types of Skin Biopsies WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 12, 2018

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 12, 2018

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What is the recovery from a skin biopsy like?

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