The diagnostic procedure provided by your WellStar dermatologist will depend on the type of condition you have. Common procedures include:
- Patch tests to help diagnose skin allergies. Substances that you may be allergic to are applied to the skin with adhesive patches and left for a period of time. Your skin is then examined for a reaction.
- A culture is a test to identify the bacteria, fungus or virus causing an infection. Skin, hair or nails may be cultured.
- A visual scan of your body for irregular moles, which may be a sign of skin cancer.
- A skin biopsy to remove cells or skin samples. The sample is examined to diagnose or rule out certain skin conditions and diseases.
Types of biopsies include:
- Shave biopsy, when your dermatologist uses a tool similar to a razor to remove a small section of the top layer of skin.
- Punch biopsy, when your dermatologist uses a circular tool to remove a small section of skin including deeper layers.
- Excisional biopsy, when your dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove a lump or an area of abnormal skin.
Skin biopsies are also used to remove lesions or to diagnose and test for skin conditions and diseases such as:
- Skin cancer
- Skin infection
- Skin tags
- Suspicious moles