Diagnosing skin concerns can often be done by sight. The dermatologists at Ascension Seton are specially trained to diagnose a wide range of skin conditions. Conditions and issues that are harder to identify may need additional tests done. In some cases, testing may be necessary in order to decide on the best treatment option.

There are a few different types of tests that can be performed during the diagnosis process:

  • A patch test can be used if a skin allergy is suspected. During the test, a patch containing allergens (particles that you might be allergic to) is applied to the skin. After a couple days, the patch is removed, and the skin is examined for signs of a reaction.
  • If bacteria, a virus or fungal infection could be present, a culture test may be done. A surface scraping of the affected area of skin is taken, and is then fed a special growth medium to encourage organisms to multiply. Studying the way they develop helps your doctor decide the next steps to follow in your treatment.
  • A skin biopsy may be performed to diagnose skin cancer. A local anesthetic is applied before a portion of the area to be biopsied is removed and sent to the lab. Sometimes, stitches may be needed after a biopsy. Although a biopsy can determine the presence or absence of skin cancer, it can also help diagnose non-cancerous skin conditions like psoriasis.

Diagnosing Specific Skin Concerns

The board-certified dermatologists at Ascension Seton treat a wide range of skin conditions. Select a health concern below to learn more about diagnosis, treatment, and what you can do to maximize your skin health.

Choose a dermatologist at Ascension Seton for your all your skin care treatments. Find a doctor or find a location near you to take the next step.