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Brentwood Dermatologist Examining A Mole On A Patient’s Skin, Which May Require A Skin Biopsy.

What are the Different Types of Skin Biopsies? Brentwood Dermatologist Explains

Within the dermatology space, different types of skin biopsies are used on a regular basis to remove and examine skin samples to diagnose a variety of skin diseases and conditions. If you have a suspicious spot on your skin or an atypical mole, your physician will likely use a biopsy to collect and examine the cells for any abnormalities, such as skin cancer. 

If you have questions about what types of biopsies our board-certified providers use at Brentwood Dermatology and how they are performed, read our helpful skin biopsy guide. 


What is a Skin Biopsy? 

A skin biopsy is a common procedure used in dermatology that involves removing a skin lesion, growth, or sample, which is then sent off to a pathologist for a microscopic diagnosis. This procedure helps doctors diagnose skin conditions and remove abnormal tissue. In most cases, skin biopsies are used to determine if an abnormal skin spot is cancerous. 


Different Types of Skin Biopsies 

Shave Biopsy 

This is the most common skin biopsy performed by our providers. First, your provider will numb the biopsy site. Then, they will remove the epidermal layer of skin and a small portion of the dermis layer with a small scalpel or razor blade. To stop the bleeding, your provider will either apply a topical ointment to the biopsy site or cauterize the site with a small electrical current. 


Punch Biopsy 

A punch biopsy is performed using a small device that looks similar to a tiny round cookie cutter. Your provider will first numb the targeted area and use the punch biopsy tool to remove a deep sample of skin by slowly rotating it until the tool cuts through all layers of skin. Once the skin sample is removed, the edges of the biopsy site are then stitched together. 


Excisional Biopsy 

Excisional biopsies, also called local excision skin biopsies, are typically used to examine suspicious lesions that may have grown into the deeper layers of skin. Similar to the other types of skin biopsies mentioned, your provider will first numb the area. He or she will then use a surgical scalpel to cut through each layer of skin and remove the entire tumor. Once the skin sample is removed, the biopsy area is stitched together for healing. 


What Skin Conditions are Skin Biopsies Used to Diagnose? 

While skin biopsies are most commonly used to diagnose several different types of skin cancer, they can also be used to diagnose: 

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Bullous pemphigoid and other blistering skin disorders
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Skin infections
  • Skin tags
  • Suspicious moles or other growths
  • Warts
  • Skin cancers (i.e., basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma)

At Brentwood Dermatology, our providers are highly trained and experienced in performing biopsies to diagnose and treat a variety of skin concerns and diseases. To learn more about how we utilize skin biopsies to detect conditions like skin cancer, reach out to our clinic. One of our board-certified dermatologists would be happy to answer any questions you may have. 


Board-Certified Dermatology Solutions in Brentwood, Tennessee

Ready to schedule your annual skin cancer screening? Have you noticed a suspicious spot on your skin? Need to find effective skin cancer treatments? Consult with the board-certified dermatologists at Brentwood Dermatology! 

We’re here to help restore the health of your skin with professional dermatology solutions. Schedule an appointment today by sending us a message online or calling us at (615) 377-3448. 


Professional Skin Care at Brentwood Dermatology 

The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services, such as our skin cancer treatment in Brentwood, contact us online or give us a call at (615) 377-3448. 

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