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.
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.