This refers to a medical procedure in which a physician takes a small sample of a patient’s skin to examine and make a diagnosis of a wide range of conditions including fungal and bacterial infections (Nischal , Nischal & Khopkar, 2008). It is an ideal tool for the diagnosis and management of skin conditions.
There are several methods of carrying out a skin biopsy, and they include shave biopsy, punch biopsy, wedge biopsy and saucerization biopsy (Kademani & Tiwana, 2015).
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Fresh tissue of either hard or soft character is removed from a site either partially or permanently, making it possible for a physician to microscopically examine the cells in the tissue. The tissues can also be examined by chemically and radiographically (Kademani & Tiwana, 2015). When carrying out a skin biopsy, a physician is required to select the best surgical technique that will facilitate the gaining of most useful information while using the least amount of tissue thereby resulting in the best cosmetic outcome (Nischal , Nischal & Khopkar, 2008). When complete removal of a skin lesion is required, then excisional biopsies are often indicated. On the other hand punch biopsy is used when a small amount of tissue from large surface area lesions are required (Nischal , Nischal & Khopkar, 2008).
Skin biopsies are carried out to help in the diagnosis of cutaneous infections as well as the histologic diagnosis of neoplastic and inflammatory skin disorders (Klingensmith, 2008). The clinical presentation for which skin biopsies may be recommended include papular rash, macular rash, Vesicobullous disorder, deep pathology, suspected melanoma, cutaneous lupus and lentigo maligna (Nischal , Nischal & Khopkar, 2008).