Common Tests At The Dermatologist
Checking in with your dermatologist feels like a common routine when you have a known skin issue, but often skin, hair, and nail complications can take extra testing for a solid diagnosis. A skin test could literally be the difference between life and death. For instance, dermatologists utilize testing methods to determine the difference between a malignant or benign growth! Tests could also determine allergies, identify bacterial or fungal infections, or target a specific skin disease.
To take the mystery out of skin tests, we put together a list of the most common tests that we perform here at Old Bridge Dermatology.
Common skin tests performed by dermatologists include:
- Skin prick or injection – we use needles to scrape the skin to test for allergic reactions to agents such as foods, pet dander, mites, and pollen. These can be done in singular tests, or as a large panel test.
- Patch tests – this is another allergy test that utilizes adhesive strips. The strips containing an allergen are applied to the skin to see if there is any allergic reaction.
- Biopsy – a dermatologist will remove a portion of skin or a growth on the skin for further inspection under a microscope. The doctor could use a razor blade to shave off a thin slice, a scalpel to carve out a wedge, or a punch to reach the skin’s deeper tissue layers.
- Petri dish culture – a rash or infection cause can be determined by taking a culture of the affected skin, hair, or nails. They observe the culture under a microscope to check for signs of fungus, bacteria, viruses, or anything else abnormal. If anything is found, treatment can be started.
We hope this takes a bit of the mystery out of skin tests. If you have any skin issues or any new growths, it’s important that a skincare professional assess them to rule out any potentially serious issues like skin cancer. Here at Old Bridge Dermatology, our dermatologist, Dr. Juan Vaillant, can help you assess and treat any other skin, nail, or hair problem that you are experiencing. To schedule an appointment at our convenient Old Bridge, NJ office, call us today at 732-679-0222.