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Typically, skin biopsies are taken by dermatologists, but in some cases, they can be performed by plastic surgeons. Dr. Kaplan performs cosmetic skin biopsies for patients with skin lesions who want them removed for aesthetic purposes. Skin biopsies may also sometimes be necessary for Dr. Kaplan to ensure your skin is healthy enough for your desired procedure and determine the next steps for treatment if anything abnormal is found.

Dr. Kaplan is more than a plastic surgeon. His goal is to do whatever is in his power to ensure that you are feeling like your best, true self, and sometimes that requires a skin biopsy.

  • You have skin lesions (warts, moles, tags, discoloration, etc.) that are interrupting your confidence as they are not aesthetically appealing to you, and need them tested before moving forward on their removal.
  • You plan on getting a cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical, but you have some areas on your skin that are concerning and may need testing before going forward.
  • You are simply concerned that your skin lesions may be cancerous or linked to diseases and want them removed and tested by a pathologist.

If you relate to one of these circumstances, you may be a candidate for a skin biopsy at The Kaplan Center.

According to Mayo Clinic, there are three main types of skin biopsies: shave, punch, and excisional.

  • During shave biopsies, doctors remove a section of one of the top layers of skin with a razor-like tool.
  • During punch biopsies, doctors remove a core of skin that includes deep layers with a circular tool.
  • During excisional biopsies, doctors remove a lump or abnormality in the skin with a scalpel. This biopsy includes both normal skin and the deeper, fatty layer of skin.

Typically, skin biopsies are taken to diagnose conditions or diseases, including but not limited to:

  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Skin infection
  • Skin tags
  • Moles
  • Warts 
  • Skin cancers 
  • Determining the cause of a skin rash or irritation

Skin biopsies are processed and sent to a laboratory so a pathologist can examine the sample to determine whether or not it contains any type of disease. According to WebMD, results usually return within one to two weeks.

Skin biopsies are very safe procedures and are necessary to ensure your skin is healthy and free of infections, diseases, etc. Some of the potential risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring

Skin biopsy wounds typically are tiny and not overly visible. The wound from your skin biopsy should heal completely within two months but any bleeding should last no more than a few days. According to Mayo Clinic, wounds on your legs and feet tend to heal slower than the rest of your body, and for quick, healthy healing, you should clean the area twice a day by rinsing it with water, patting it dry, and applying petroleum jelly. Keep the wound covered for the first two to three days following your biopsy.

Biopsies can cause a small scar, which may be more prominent in some patients than others. Scars fade gradually.

There are a few reasons Dr. Kaplan may need to perform skin biopsies in his practice.

  1. When a patient comes into Dr. Kaplan’s office with concerns over the appearance of skin lesions such as warts, moles, skin tags, or discoloration,  he will first perform a traditional skin biopsy.  The biopsy result will rule out any diseases before taking action to remove them through treatments such as lasers, PDO threads, and/or subcisions.
  2. If Dr. Kaplan discovers any abnormalities in your skin such as lumps, sores, or discoloration, he may do a skin biopsy to determine the condition and its degree of seriousness.  The result will determine if your skin is healthy enough to go ahead with a surgical or non-surgical procedure. Do not be alarmed if Dr. Kaplan decides a skin biopsy is needed. It is simply for your safety and to ensure your skin is ready for a cosmetic procedure.
  3. If Dr. Kaplan discovers any abnormalities in your skin such as lumps, sores, or discoloration, he may do a skin biopsy to determine the condition and its degree of seriousness.  The result will determine if your skin is healthy enough to go ahead with a surgical or non-surgical procedure. Do not be alarmed if Dr. Kaplan decides a skin biopsy is needed. It is simply for your safety and to ensure your skin is ready for a cosmetic procedure.

If any diseases, infections, or cancers are detected, Dr. Kaplan will be transparent about what he can do to help and advise you where to go for treatments that are out of his expertise. Dr. Kaplan will wait until you have completed any course of treatment for your diagnosis before moving forward with any type of cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical.

Any type of biopsy is usually covered by health insurance. If your skin biopsy is covered by your health insurance, your out-of-pocket cost will only be between 10 and 40 percent of the total cost of the procedure. If your skin biopsy is not covered by your insurance, it is most likely because you have not reached your deductible yet.

If you are considering a skin biopsy to treat lesions, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Kaplan here.  Dr. Kaplan will determine if your reasoning for needing/wanting a skin biopsy is within his realm of helping you fulfill true self-confidence.