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Skin Biopsies

With many skin lesions, it is difficult to determine the pathology without looking at the skin cells under a microscope. A cancerous and non-cancerous growth can look almost identical, which is why a biopsy may be recommended for some skin lesions. In most cases, if a skin growth is removed and there is any possibility of mutations or disease in the cells, a sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing and examination. At MJR Dermatology, we perform skin biopsies on many types of lesions at our medical center in Lawrenceville, GA.

Testing for cancerous or pre-cancerous cells is one of the main reasons skin biopsies are performed. Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer, with millions of cases diagnosed every year in the U.S. alone. Since skin cancer can spread, it is vital to know whether a lesion contains these cells. A biopsy can identify lesions that are cancerous or may become cancerous, and the type of cancer cells within the tissue.

Cancer is not the only reason for performing a skin biopsy, although it is the most common reason. There are other diseases like blistering skin disease and inflammatory skin conditions that require a biopsy for accurate diagnosis.

Types of Skin Biopsies

A biopsy removes a small portion of tissue to have it tested or examined. For skin lesions and growths, there are a few different methods that may be used. Some of the ways we perform skin biopsies at MJR Dermatology include:

  • Shave or scrape – To test the cells in the epidermis or dermis, a sharp tool can be used to scrape or shave the top of the skin to collect a sample for examination.
  • Punch method – A punch tool may be used to remove a section of skin, collecting a core sample of the epidermis, dermis and deeper skin cells. Punch biopsies may require stitches or wound care.
  • Excision – A scalpel may be used to remove the entire growth, including lumps below the skin, which can be tested in a lab. Excisional biopsies usually require stitches to close the wound or surgical tape.

If you have a skin lesion that needs to be tested or examined, come see us at MJR Dermatology. Dr. Reschly can determine the best method for your skin biopsy, always choosing the most effective and least invasive option. Call our clinic near Duluth in Lawrenceville, GA, to schedule your appointment.

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Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC


2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

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(678) 535-0067

Afterhours Surgical Emergencies ONLY

(678) 535-0091

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday 8:30a – 4:30p
(closed 12-1p for lunch)
Friday 8:30a – 12p