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Spots and lesions sometimes require further investigation in order to get a diagnosis. Most procedures can be performed here at the clinic. Your doctor will advise the best option for you.
Biopsy is a test to get more information about suspicious or unusual-looking skin lesions. The results of a biopsy enable your doctor to decide if further treatment is required, and what the best type of treatment will be. Punch biopsy involves cutting a circular piece of skin using a round blade. If the diameter of the punch is 3mm or less, stitches usually are not required.
Excision is a minor surgical procedure where a doctor cuts out a spot or lump on the skin. It is normally performed in the skin cancer clinic under a local anaesthetic. After the spot is removed, it is analysed under a microscope by a skin pathologist to look for signs of skin cancer.
Cryotherapy is the treatment of surface skin lesions by freezing. In skin cancer medicine, it is an easy, inexpensive and effective treatment for superficial basal cell carcinoma, superificial squamous cell carcinoma (also called Bowen’s disease), solar keratoses and certain harmless non-cancer conditions such as warts or seborrhoeic keratoses.
Shave biopsy or excision is a procedure where the skin is shaved with a blade parallel to its surface. Only the top layer of skin is removed, which leaves a raw, “grazed” area. This normally heals well with minimal scarring and no stitches. Shave excision can be especially useful for raised lesions like dermal moles, seborrhoeic keratoses and skin tags.