Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah

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Learn About Biopsies

Skin biopsies are quick, uncomplicated procedures for when you have a suspicious-looking mole or worrisome changes in your skin. At Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah, Amy Curtis, MD, FAAD, Leena Brown, MPT, PA-C, and the team offer biopsies in-office using local anesthesia. To learn more about biopsies, or if you have a skin problem that needs a check-up, call the office in Centerville or West Jordan, Utah, or use the online booking feature to request an appointment.

Why would I need a biopsy?

A biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. The team at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah performs biopsies to diagnose conditions such as skin cancer.

They may also send tissues for a biopsy any time they remove a lesion from your skin. This is to identify cells, determine the cause of the problem, or verify that the tissues don’t contain cancer or other problems that are only visible under a microscope.

You may need a biopsy for: 

  • Moles
  • Warts
  • Skin tags
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Skin cancers
  • Skin infections
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Inflammatory skin conditions

Though a visual examination diagnoses most skin conditions, a biopsy can help guide treatment decisions and rule out unexpected complications.

How are biopsies performed? 

The team at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah follows strict standards and guidelines to perform skin biopsies safely. After applying a local anesthetic, they remove the targeted tissues using one of the following techniques: 

Shave biopsy

They do a shave biopsy using a razor-like device to remove thin layers of skin. 

Punch biopsy

This procedure uses a round device that removes a small but deep section of your skin. 

Incisional biopsy

The team performs an incisional biopsy to remove a small area from a larger lesion, rash, or skin condition. 

Excisional biopsy

This type of biopsy removes an entire lump, lesion, or abnormal area of skin. For example, the team may excise a mole or wart.

A punch or excisional biopsy may need a few stitches. Otherwise, the Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah team applies a dressing and teaches you how to care for the biopsy site at home. You may need to keep the wound clean and change the dressing, for example.

What happens after a biopsy?

Your biopsy goes to a pathology lab, where specialists examine the tissue to identify all the cells in the sample and send a report of their findings. When the results come in, the Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah team talks with you about your diagnosis and recommends further treatment if necessary. 

If you have questions about biopsies, call Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah, or schedule an appointment online for an evaluation.