Skin Biopsy

Skin Biopsy

Skin biopsy is invasive procedure in which a part of skin or tissue is removed for examination in the laboratory. Doctor performs skin biopsy in conditions where diagnosis cannot be made on clinical examination or to rule out the possibility of malignancy in suspicious lesions.

Precautions to be taken before a skin biopsy

Always tell your doctor about:

Any history of allergy to local anaesthetic agents or any other medication

Any history of bleeding disorders

History of taking blood thinners like aspirin, warfarin etc

Intake of supplements or homeopathic medications

Any skin infection

Types of skin biopsies

Punch biopsy
Shave biopsy
Excisional biopsy

Procedure of skin biopsy

The site for skin biopsy will be cleaned following aseptic precautions. The area on the skin may be marked to outline the area for biopsy. Local anaesthesia will be given to numb the area. Doctor will use the biopsy instrument to take out the skin or tissue sample. Stitches may be applied (if required) and the biopsy site will be dressed under aseptic precautions. The whole procedure may take around 15 to 30 minutes and you may be asked to wait for another 15 minutes to make sure there are no complications

After biopsy care

You may be asked to keep the dressing for at least one day. After that clean the site twice a day following these steps:

Wash your hands with soap and water

Wash the biopsy site with soap and water and rinse Pat dry with clean towels

After the area is dry apply a thin layer of topical antibiotic and/or petroleum Jelly

Keep the biopsy site covered with a bandage for the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure

Continue the wound care until the stitches are removed or the skin is healed

Avoid doing activities that stretch the skin of the biopsy area. Healing of the wound can take several weeks and all biopsies cause a small scar which fade away with time

What to expect

Skin biopsy is generally a safe procedure but complications may arise in few cases such as bleeding, bruising, infection, scarring and allergic reaction to medications.


Biopsy sample is sent to laboratory for examination and you will be informed as soon as the results are available