Skin biopsies are common procedures performed by a dermatologist. They are used to help diagnose and guide treatment of a skin lesion, rash, or other condition. A shave biopsy uses a small blade to remove a portion of the surface of a lesion. A punch biopsy uses a tool shaped like a tiny cookie-cutter and is used when a deeper portion of skin is necessary for the diagnosis.
Cryotherapy is also among the most common procedures performed by a dermatologist. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the skin (or applied with a Q-tip) directly onto a skin growth. Cryotherapy is used to treat precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses) and also for benign lesions such as warts, seborrheic keratoses or skin tags.
Curettage can be used for skin cancers that are found in the top layers of the skin, such as early basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas. The cancer can be removed by using a sharp, looped-edge tool that scrapes away the cancerous tissue. The cancer cells have a different texture and consistency than surrounding healthy tissue, which guides your dermatologist how wide and deep to treat the area involved. Sometimes electrocautery or cryotherapy are used in conjunction with curettage.
Dr. David Fieleke and the team at Cornerstone Dermatology & Surgery Group have received extensive training and have vast experience with each of these procedures. We can help guide you to the procedure that will be most appropriate for your skin health.