Skin Biopsy

Skin biopsy at Belgravia Dermatology

  • Why¬†– A skin biopsy is a minor procedure carried out under local anaesthetic. A sample of skin is removed and analysed under the microscope
  • Areas – Any area of the body where there is a skin problem which needs diagnosis such as a problem mole or a skin rash
  • Results – A diagnosis is reached in one to two weeks
  • Downtime – Minimal

What is a skin biopsy?

A skin biopsy is a short procedure where a sample of skin is removed and sent to the Pathology laboratory to be analysed under the microscope. A skin biopsy will help to diagnose your skin condition and plan treatment. The procedure is usually done under local anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake and a small injection will be used to the numb the skin from which the biopsy is needed.

Punch biopsy

A small round bladed instrument is used to remove a round core of tissue ranging from 3 to 4 millimetres in diameter. 1 or 2 stitches are often used. A small scar which looks like a fine 4mm line will result.

Incisional biopsy

A small eye shaped piece of skin is removed. Stitches are used to close the area and a small linear scar results. The scar may be 1 to 5 cm in length depending on the size of the biopsy that is required.

Shave biopsy

The surface of a lesion is shaved off. The roots of the lesion, if there are any, are not removed. A scab will form which will take a week to separate. Stitches are not required. You will have a pale, flat scar that is usually the same outline as the base of the lesion. With time this will be minimally perceptible.

Woman reflaction in mirror

Preparing for a skin biopsy

To prepare for the procedure you should follow the steps below:

  • Prepare a list of medications that you are taking. Ensure you have you have notified your Dermatologist if you are on any blood thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin, in case these need to be stopped.
  • Make sure you have a supply of your usual painkiller such as paracetamol.
  • Eat and drink normally. Light meals are preferable on the day of the procedure.

Skin biopsy at Belgravia Dermatology

  • A skin biopsy may be recommended by your Dermatologist
  • It is a short procedure carried out under local anaesthetic
  • You can return to normal activities straight away. It is best to avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours.
  • Make an appointment


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      +44 (0) 207 112 8622

    (Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm)

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