A punch biopsy is a procedure that removes a small amount of skin, muscle, or other tissue from the body. This type of test is often used to diagnose diseases like cancer. Next Genomix Laboratories offers punch biopsies as part of our diagnostic testing services. We hope that this blog post helps you understand why punch biopsies are done and what they can help diagnose.
Why Is a Punch Biopsy Done?
One of the most common punch biopsy procedures is to diagnose melanoma. Skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes can spread quickly and be fatal if not treated early on. A punch biopsy may be done as part of a skin exam or because an individual has noticed changes in their skin, such as dark spots or new moles. There are different types of punch biopsies that may be used to diagnose melanoma. In a shave punch biopsy, the top layer of skin needs to be removed for testing, while a deep incisional punch biopsy removes part or all of an abnormal mole and surrounding tissue.
Diagnosing a Benign Growth
Benign skin growths like cysts or lipomas can sometimes be diagnosed through punch biopsy, especially if the growth is located in an area that does not heal easily. This type of punch biopsy may also help diagnose things like benign tumors and other uncommon but harmless conditions. The punch biopsy procedure for diagnosing these types of lesions may be a punch incisional biopsy or a punch excisional biopsy.
Diagnosing Inflammatory Lesions
Punch biopsies may also be used to diagnose inflammatory lesions, like basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas. Diagnosing these types of skin cancers can help ensure treatment is successful and cancer does not spread. This punch biopsy procedure involves removing tissue from an abnormal area for testing in a laboratory setting. Inflammatory lesions can be difficult to diagnose with a traditional biopsy, so punch biopsies may be the best option in some cases.
Diagnosing Chronic Skin Disorders
Other punch biopsy procedures are used to diagnose chronic skin disorders like psoriasis or lupus. If you have experienced unexplained changes in your skin, punch biopsies may help determine the cause of these symptoms so treatment can begin as quickly as possible. At Next Genomix Laboratories, punch incisional and punch excisional punch biopsies may be used to diagnose chronic skin disorders.