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Skin Pathology: How Are Skin Diseases Diagnosed?

Diseases of the skin can be diagnosed in a variety of ways. In some cases, the diagnostic method will depend on the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. A skin pathologist can evaluate your symptoms and help you to determine what disease you may have so that you can start an appropriate course of treatment. 

Skin diseases can be diagnosed in a variety of ways. Some of the most common diagnostic tests for skin pathology include: 

Skin Culture: A skin culture is the process of taking a small sample of skin, carefully preserving it, and then testing it for bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The test is designed to identify any contaminants or diseases that are causing the skin symptoms that you are experiencing. 

Biopsy: A skin biopsy is the process of removing a skin sample from your body to evaluate in a laboratory. The sample can then be used to make a diagnosis and potentially remove abnormal tissue. There are multiple types of skin biopsies, including shave, punch, and excisional. A biopsy can be used to diagnose a skin growth, a wart, a blister, potential skin cancer, an oddly shaped mole, and other types of growths on the skin. 

Patch Test: A patch test is a process of applying various substances to the skin to determine if you have an allergic reaction to them. This is a common way to determine what is causing hives or an allergic rash on your skin. 

Dermoscopy: A dermoscopy is a test done with a derma scope—a device that both illuminates and magnifies. Using this scope allows the doctor a much clearer view of your skin. This test can be used to determine if a growth is cancerous but can also be used for tasks like identifying scabies and removing splinters. Any lesion, growth, or damage to the skin that requires an in-depth view for identification or diagnosis may require a dermoscopy. 

There are additional tests, and a dermatologist or skin pathologist will prescribe them based on your individual symptoms. Diagnosing a skin disease can be a simple task, or it can be quite complicated—the process will depend on the specific symptoms that you are experiencing, as well as their severity. If you are experiencing an issue with a skin rash, lesion, or growth, reach out to a local skin pathologist today to schedule an appointment to begin the diagnostic process. 

Contact your doctor if you have questions about skin pathology.

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