Athina Matekovits Dalamaga - Dermatologist - Venereologist

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Skin biopsy

Skin biopsy is a procedure that helps the dermatologist to confirm the correct diagnosis, when the clinical picture is atypical or non specific. A small sample of skin is removed in order to be examined in the laboratory (histopathological examination).

Before having a skin biopsy, you should inform your dermatologist if you:

  • Take aspirin or anticoagulant medication (blood thinner)
  • Have a known allergy to local anesthetics (eg. Xylocaine)
  • Suffer from blood clotting disorders
  • Have any serious diseases

The procedure is simple and it is performed in our practice. Initially local anesthesia is administered at the point from which the sample will be taken. The area becomes numb and then the whole procedure is painless.

The skin sample is transected with a special tool (punch) which bears a small circular cutting edge of 1-6 mm diameter. Then, after the sample is removed, a hemostatic drug or a suture are used to control the bleeding. Finally, the area is covered with a bandage, which is removed in about one week. The sample is deposited in a special container with preservative fluid and it is sent to the laboratory for examination by a specialist pathologist.

At the end of the procedure, you will remain for about 30 minutes in the clinic for observation. You will receive detailed instructions for post-procedure skin care.