What Is A Skin Biopsy?

A small sample of skin tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to diagnose or rule out certain skin conditions. Often used in dermatology, allowing for the identification of skin diseases, infections, or skin cancer. There are several types of skin biopsies including shave biopsy (where a thin layer of skin is removed), punch biopsy (where a circular tool is used to remove a small section of deeper layers of skin), and excisional biopsy (where a scalpel is used to remove a larger area of skin, usually if a malignancy is suspected).

Reasons For Skin Biopsy

  • Suspected Skin Cancer: A biopsy can confirm or rule out whether a mole or growth is cancerous.
  • Unexplained Rash or Lesion: If a rash or lesion is not responding to treatment or if its cause is unknown, a biopsy can help determine the problem.
  • Monitoring Conditions: For individuals with certain skin conditions, regular biopsies may be conducted to monitor the disease.

What Happens During a Skin Biopsy

During a skin biopsy in Singapore, the area of skin to be biopsied is first cleaned and numbed with a local anaesthetic.

  • In a shave biopsy, the doctor uses a surgical blade to shave off the top layers of the skin.
  • For a punch biopsy, a circular tool is used to cut through all the layers of skin to remove a small cylindrical sample.
  • In other procedures like an excisional biopsy, a scalpel is used to remove an entire lump or an area of abnormal skin, and stitches may be required afterwards. After removal, the skin sample is preserved, typically in a solution, and sent to a laboratory where a pathologist examines it under a microscope to make a diagnosis.

After removal, the skin sample is preserved, typically in a solution, and sent to a laboratory where a pathologist examines it under a microscope to make a diagnosis.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

While generally considered safe, complications may arise in rare cases. These could include infection at the biopsy site, an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic, or bleeding. Scarring is also a possibility, especially with punch and excisional biopsies.

Billing & Insurance

Private and Corporate Insurance

You can use your Integrated Shield Plans to pay for certain procedures. Speak to us to learn more, and you’ll be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be. 

Why Choose Us

Modern & Patient-Centred Dermatological Care

We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


Personalised Treatment Plans


Results-Oriented Approach


Focused Aftercare For All


Honest & Ethical Practices

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    You may feel a slight sting from the injection of the local anaesthetic. During the biopsy, you should not feel pain, but may experience a sensation of pressure. After the anaesthetic wears off, the biopsy site might be tender.

    It typically takes a few days to a week to receive the results of your skin biopsy.

    After the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort, redness, and swelling at the biopsy site. These symptoms usually improve within a few days.

    Your dermatologist will give you specific instructions, which usually involve keeping the area clean and dry and using an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.

    Most people can return to their regular activities the same day as the biopsy, but avoid strenuous activities that could irritate the biopsy site for a day or two. If stitches were required, please avoid strenuous physical activities until post operative wound inspection and stitch removal have been completed. When in doubt, please check with the doctor and/or clinic staff.