The area will be cleaned. Medication will be applied to the skin or injected to numb the area. The exact steps will depend on the type of biopsy:
Shave biopsy—A special blade will shave off a thin piece of skin.
Punch biopsy—A special tool is used. The tip of the tool is pushed into the skin. As it is pushed down, the tool will be turned. It will cut a circular sample of skin. The sample will show all of the layers of the skin. Stitches may be needed to close the hole.
Excision biopsy—The entire area of abnormal skin will be removed with a scalpel. This biopsy will make a larger and deeper hole in the skin. Stitches will be placed to close the hole left in the skin.
After the procedure, a clean dressing will be placed over the area.
Once you feel ready you will able to leave. You will need to follow some basic care steps once you are home. This will include keeping the area clean and dry. You will also need to watch for bleeding or signs of infection.
Stitches will be left in the skin for 3-14 days. Your doctor will check in the area to make sure it is healing as expected or remove stitches. It can take 2-10 days to get the result of your test.