Skin Biopsy

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).

The term Biopsy has a Greek origin and is derived from the words bio which mean life and opsia which mean to see. It is believed that the first recorded biopsies were carried out by Arabs in the 12th century A.D (Klingensmith, 2008). It was not until 1879 that the term biopsy as used today was introduced into medical terminology by Besnier, a French dermatologist. This was despite the fact that the first true diagnostic biopsy had been obtained in 1875 by a Russian physician by the name Rudnev. Starting from the early 1900s, surgical biopsies started coming into generalized usage, and ever since then, many types of biopsy procedures including skin biopsies have been developed (Kademani & Tiwana, 2015).


Kademani, D., & Tiwana, P. (2015). Atlas of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Klingensmith, M. E. (Ed.). (2008). The Washington manual of surgery. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nischal, U., Nischal, K. C., & Khopkar, U. (2008). Techniques of skin biopsy and practical considerations. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery1(2), 107.