Mucosal skin biopsy is the removal of a small piece of skin or mucous membrane. The sample can be retrieved in several ways: a shave biopsy (scraping or shaving a thin layer), a punch biopsy (using a needle or punch to obtain a small, but deeper, sample), or an excision of tissue (cutting to remove a piece of tissue). The sample is sent to the laboratory to isolate and identify organisms that cause infection.
Update Date 10/22/2011
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.