Why it's done

A skin biopsy is used to diagnose or rule out skin conditions and diseases. It may also be used to remove skin lesions.

A skin biopsy may be necessary to diagnose or to help treat skin conditions and diseases, including:

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Bullous pemphigoid and other blistering skin disorders
  • Dermatitis, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma
  • Skin infection
  • Skin tags
  • Suspicious moles or other growths
  • Warts
Nov. 29, 2016
References
  1. Alguire PC, et al. Skin biopsy techniques. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
  2. Habif TP, ed. Dermatologic surgical procedures. In: Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  3. Goldman L, et al., eds. Examination of the skin and an approach to diagnosing skin diseases. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
  4. Pfenninger JL, et al., eds. Skin biopsy. In: Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  5. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 2, 2015.