What to Expect After a Skin Biopsy

Woman getting her skin checked

The word “biopsy” alone is something that could cause an immense amount of fear, but it’s also a procedure that many have to experience during the course of their life, and one such type of biopsy is for the skin. While it’s obviously much more complicated, it essentially involves removing skin tissue, examining it, then making a determination as to a diagnosis. Regardless of the type of skin biopsy you have, in addition to understanding what the procedure entails, one of the best things you can do is get an idea of what to expect after. With that said, let’s talk about just some of what you should expect and what you should do after a skin biopsy.

Follow the Aftercare Instructions Exactly
Your doctor is going to give you specific aftercare instructions to follow, and it’s important that you actually do so. The instructions will include how to properly wash the site, what warning signs to look out for that indicate there may be a problem, and what you should and shouldn’t be doing. For example…

Don’t Smoke
Smoking after a skin biopsy could actually cause the wound to take longer to heal, so you’re better off not smoking for at least a week after the procedure. It could also increase the risk of problems, such as an infection. As difficult as it can be not to smoke, it’s better overall for your healing.

Woman examining face in mirror

Pay Attention to Your Body
You don’t want to just pay attention to how the area of the skin biopsy is but also to how your body is feeling as a whole. For example, indications that there may be a problem include fever, extreme pain and swelling, and too much bleeding. Even if it seems relatively minor, don’t blow it off. Contact your doctor and let them decide what should be done next.

Don’t Panic
One thing you’re going to have to remember when it comes to waiting for the results from a skin biopsy is that it’s important not to panic. Easier said than done, right? It’s easy to play the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” game wondering what could happen or if there is something you could have done differently, but that’s not going to change anything, especially not the results. There are two things that can help you immensely during this time: take things one day at a time and stay busy so you keep your mind off waiting for the results.

Pensive woman at laptop

Don’t Do Internet Search
One of the absolute worst things you can do is Internet search possible outcomes when you haven’t yet gotten the results. Don’t get us wrong, there’s certainly a lot of useful medical information out there from very reliable sources, but you need to remember that everyone’s body is different. The authors of the journals, articles, etc, aren’t looking at your skin or your tissue sample, they don’t know your lifestyle or history, and they don’t know you. All the information you need is best to get directly from your doctor otherwise what you find on the Internet may cause you to do nothing but panic and worry even more.

If you need to get a skin biopsy, it’s better to get it done sooner than later so you get the answers you need without wondering longer than you have to. Is it scary? Yes, but it’s also necessary.

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