A skin biopsy is often a simple procedure that can be performed by your General Practitioner. Skin biopsies can be important in determining the type of lesion/skin condition (diagnosis) and can even be the only treatment that is required for some lesions.
Skin biopsies can be performed for a number of different skin conditions. They are commonly performed for skin lesions that are suspicious of cancers (e.g. basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and/or melanoma) but also for a range of other skin conditions.
Skin biopsies can be broadly classified into two main groups:
incisional – where only a part of the lesion is sampled, this includes: shave biopsies, partial punch biopsies or surgical incisional biopsies; and
excisional – remove the entire lesion such as surgical excisional biopsy and/or punch biopsy (if the lesion is relatively small and can be completely excised by this method).
The type of biopsy used depends on where it is located, how big it is and what shape it is.
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