Punch Biopsy of Skin Lesion

 > Dermatology

 > Punch Biopsy of Skin Lesion

What is a punch biopsy?

A punch biopsy involves removing a small piece of skin using a circular blade called a punch.

What are the benefits of a punch biopsy?

Your doctor may be concerned about a skin lesion, which is a lump or spot on or just below your skin, or they may need to confirm the cause of a skin rash or eruption.

If a problem is found, the healthcare team will discuss the appropriate treatment with you. If the biopsy is normal, the healthcare team will reassure you.

Are there any alternatives to a punch biopsy?

A blood test or scan may give more information and show that you have a problem. However, a biopsy will help to find out exactly what is causing the problem and will help your doctor to recommend the best treatment for you.

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure is performed under a local anaesthetic and usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Your doctor will stretch your skin to make it easier to use the punch to remove a sample of tissue. The amount of tissue removed is usually less than 4 millimetres in diameter and about 1.5 millimetres deep.

They will either close the hole with stitches or use a dressing.

How soon will I recover?

After a short while you will be able to go home.

You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.

Do not have a hot bath for 2 to 3 days. Do not do strenuous exercise for the first week and not until the biopsy area has healed.

Results from the biopsy will not be available for at least a few days so the healthcare team may arrange for you to come back to the clinic for these results. The healthcare team will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

What complications can happen?

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Wound breakdown
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice your healthcare team gives you. This information is published under license from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print, download or otherwise reproduce it.

A punch biopsy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your skin.

What to do next
  1. Talk to us about ways to pay, either insured or self-pay, and find out if you need a referral from your doctor.
  2. If you need one, ask your doctor for a referral letter.
  3. Call us to book an appointment with a consultant.
ask a question

We will not contact you for any other reason than to respond to the question or information you request in this form.

For information about how your personal data may be processed please see our Privacy Policy here.

Insured

Find out more about getting started with private health insurance.

Self-Pay

Find out more about our self-pay options.

“Can not fault this hospital one bit. All of the staff were so lovely nothing was too much trouble. Very reassuring and caring which made me feel very much at ease, I didn’t want to come home! They all do such an amazing job and I’m very thankful for everything.”

Jade Baker

“Just had a total knee replacement at this fabulous hospital. From the moment you walk through the door you feel at ease. Everyone was so kind and caring. I was very nervous before my operation, but was soon assured everything would be fine. Thank you to all of you I met over my 4 day stay xx.”

Margaret Dawson

“I was very nervous and stressed before my treatment but all the staff went above and beyond to calm me down and reassure me. I was well informed and was made to feel like a person not just another number. The room I was in was spotlessly clean, not too hot and smelled fresh and not “hospitally”. The staff were very efficient and thorough.”

Leanne Helm

“I was discharged last night following an operation on my ankle. All of the staff where polite and extremely attentive. The room was cosy and clean. Every need was catered for. I was really dreading my operation the staff managed to make my stay very pleasant. Best hospital I’ve ever been in and would highly recommend to anyone. Excellent.”

Mark Goodlad

“Lovey staff, consultants too and such a good atmosphere. Can’t fault it at all”

Vikki Leworthy