Biopsies are performed to diagnose a variety of skin conditions from rashes , pigment disorders, hair disorders and very commonly skin cancers.
When a diagnosis is not clear by simply looking at the skin with natural and polarized magnified lighting, a sample of tissue may be required. The sample can be taken by the following techniques.
A Punch Biopsy: a circular core of skin is removed and the skin stitched with 1-3 sutures. The outcome is a 2-4 mm linear scar which is often imperceptible after 3 months.
A Curette Biopsy: Mainly used for skin cancer diagnosis. It sometimes can be a definitive treatment for superficial skin cancers. A sharp spoon like instrument removes the abnormal “softer” skin cancer cells leaving a superficial crater (like a gravel graze). No sutures are required and the wound heals in 5-7 days with a flat pink to pale circular patch.
An Excision Biopsy: An elliptical piece of skin of variable length is removed if a larger sample is required. The skin is stitched. The outcome is a linear scar of variable length.
In all cases the tissue is sent to a pathology lab , where the tissue is processed. A pathologist ( a highly trained specialist medical practitioner) uses considerable expertise to view and diagnose this specimen to help your dermatologist to come to a definitive diagnosis of your condition and finally treatment plan.
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Our friendly specialist staff are ready to assist and are ready to answer your call at Bondi Junction. To find out more or to make a time to see any of our dermatologists, please make an enquiry.