Skin biopsy? Here are tips on wound care | Health, Medicine and Fitness

Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, June 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A skin biopsy is often used to diagnose skin cancer and other skin conditions.

This involves the removal of a small amount of skin, which is examined under a microscope. Next, you’ll need to monitor the biopsy site to make sure it’s healing properly.

“Your dermatologist will treat the small wound from the skin biopsy during your visit,” said dermatologist Dr. Rajiv Nijhawan, associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“Continuing to care for your wound once you get home is important because it will help it heal, reduce scarring, and decrease the risk of infection,” he said in a press release from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Wash your hands before touching your wound. To care for your wound, gently wash the biopsy area with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean washcloth.

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To keep the wound moist and help it heal faster, apply petroleum jelly using a squeeze tube to the wound. Then cover the wound with an adhesive bandage or sterile gauze and adhesive tape. Do this daily for as long as your dermatologist recommends.

Do not use topical antibiotics unless advised by your dermatologist, as they can cause allergic reactions.

Applying petroleum jelly can also help relieve itching while the wound heals. Itching can also be a sign of an allergic reaction or skin irritation. Cover the wound with a non-stick pad and tape instead of an adhesive bandage.

If your wound begins to bleed, apply firm, steady pressure with a sterile gauze pad for 20 minutes. Call your dermatologist’s office if your wound is still bleeding after 20 minutes.

If you have pain at the biopsy site, take acetaminophen or place an ice pack over the bandage to relieve swelling.

Reduce scarring by protecting the biopsy site from the sun. Cover it with sun-protective clothing, apply a water-resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and stay in the shade when possible.

“If you have signs of infection such as worsening pain, increased swelling, warmth, or fever, contact your dermatologist,” Nijhawan said.

To learn more about skin biopsy, see the US National Library of Medicine.

SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, press release, May 31, 2022

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