Skin Tests

What are skin tests?

Skin tests may be performed to diagnose skin allergies, bacterial or fungal skin infections, and other diseases. Skin tests are also performed to differentiate between malignant (cancerous) cells and benign (noncancerous) growths.

What are the most common skin tests?

  • patch testing

    Patch tests are used to help diagnose skin allergies. Identified allergins are applied to the skin with adhesive patches and left for a period of time. The skin is then examined for any reaction.

  • skin biopsy

    A skin biopsy is the removal of skin for laboratory analysis. The sample of skin may be removed with a scalpel or a cylindrical punch, after local anesthesia. Skin biopsies are performed to diagnose skin cancer or benign skin disorders.

  • culture

    Skin, hair, or nails may be cultured to detect bacteria, fungi, or viruses.

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