Treatment: Punch Biopsy

A punch biopsy involves cutting out a circular sample of skin to be tested and assessed in a lab to check for and diagnose certain skin conditions.

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What is a punch biopsy?

A punch biopsy is a procedure used to take a small sample of skin for analysis in a lab to investigate and diagnose certain skin conditions. The instrument used is a round-tipped cutting tool that is placed onto the skin at a right angle and rotated to make a circular cut into the superficial and deeper layers of the skin. 

Why is a punch biopsy performed?

Many skin disorders and conditions can be diagnosed during a physical examination by looking at and feeling the area of the skin affected. However, some skin changes such as growths and lesions require deeper investigation via biopsy and laboratory testing. In such cases, a punch biopsy is an effective way to collect the sample of cells needed.


What can a punch biopsy diagnose?

In most cases, a punch biopsy will be performed to confirm the presence or absence of cancerous cells in a particular area in cases where a patient has an irregular mole or other skin growth.

This type of biopsy can also be used to aid in the diagnosis of certain rashes and other skin conditions such as skin tags, blistering skin disorders and actinic keratosis.

Preparing for a punch biopsy

No specific preparation is needed prior to having a punch biopsy. You should continue to eat, drink and take any medications as normal unless advised otherwise by your consultant. If the biopsy is being taken from an easily accessible area, such as the arm or leg, it may be helpful to wear clothing that can be easily rolled up or taken off so that you can wear a gown provided at the clinic. 

What does a punch biopsy involve?

Your consultant dermatologist will inject the biopsy site with a local anaesthetic to numb the area. They will then use the biopsy tool to cut and collect the sample of skin required for testing. These incisions are very small and only one or two stitches are usually needed to close the wound. You will then have a small dressing applied to keep the site clean and dry as it heals. The procedure normally takes around 5 to 10 minutes to complete. 

The results of the biopsy will usually be available within two to three days and your consultant will arrange a follow-up consultation soon after to discuss them with you.

Recovering from a punch biopsy

It will typically take between two to three weeks for the biopsy site to heal completely. Following the procedure, you will be left with a small straight-line scar, usually around 4 to 8mm in length, which will usually reduce in colour and size over several months. 

Treatment Programme
Punch Biopsy


Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.


Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.


Consultation Required

For this treatment you will need to have a 1-to-1 consultation at OneWelbeck first. To book in with our team of expert clinicians or to find out more about the process contact the relevant centre team.


Self Referral

No doctor referral needed in order to book this service, although health insurers may require a referral in order for your treatment to be covered.


Next Day Availability

We usually have next day availability for this service, please call us to check availability.