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Ready for Your Skin Exam?

Patients who require a skin biopsy will feel extremely comfortable in Dr. Joseph Greco’s extensive experience and training. At the time of your skin exam, it may be decided that you require a skin biopsy to further evaluate a suspicious lesion or growth. Once the biopsy results are available, he will then review the findings and coordinate a personalized treatment plan for your specific condition. After your skin biopsy, you’ll be contacted in approximately one to two weeks with your test results. Please call the office if you have not heard from us in two weeks.

Dr. Joseph F. Greco III looking through a microscope
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Let Us Carry the Burden

We understand that all skin lesions — whether benign or worrisome — can weigh heavily on your mind or cause unwanted irritation. That’s why we’re here to work closely with you during the entire process of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Allow us to tackle that burden alongside you so that you’ll never feel alone in the process. Our approach addresses the external, internal, and environmental struggles that all play a part in the process. We want you to feel that you’ve joined a team or formed a partnership with us. 

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When to Visit Us for a Skin Exam

If you’re experiencing any of the concerns listed below, please call to schedule a consultation.

  • A new growth on an adult that does not disappear within 4-6 weeks
  • A skin lesion that grows larger and turns pearly, translucent, brown, black, or multi-colored
  • A mole, birthmark, or beauty mark that grows larger, changes color, texture, or shape
  • An open sore or wound that doesn’t heal for more than four weeks, or heals and then reopens or recurs 
  • A skin spot or growth that scales, scabs, oozes, erodes, or bleeds for several weeks
  • A growth with changes in sensation such as itching, burning, pain, or tenderness
  • Any worrisome skin lesion

Urgent Lesion Visits

We have established urgent lesion visits at Greco Dermatology in Sarasota. This has been done so that you don’t have to wait long periods of time before your concerns are addressed in the office. We prioritize access for both you and your referring provider.

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The Importance of a Skin Biopsy 

If skin cancer is diagnosed and treated early enough, the cure rates approach 100% while achieving minimal scarring. Other lesions — such as pre-cancerous growths or unwanted lumps and bumps — can be targeted with topical or minimally invasive treatments to eliminate them completely and prevent them from progressing.

For patients that have never had skin cancer, a regular skin check is of prime importance to minimize the risk of developing one. Utilizing topical, oral, or minimally invasive light-based treatments we can target areas of highest sun exposure to minimize the burden of damage before cells have the opportunity to transition to a potentially cancerous state.

Types of Skin Biopsy

  • Shave biopsy: A thin layer is shaved from the top or around a lesion using a razor-like instrument.
  • Punch biopsy: A “punch” instrument is used to punch through and remove a circle-shaped section from all layers of the lesion.
  • Excisional biopsy: The entire lesion is removed with a scalpel.
  • Incisional biopsy: A small amount of a bigger lesion is removed with a scalpel.
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Post-Biopsy Wound Care

After your skin exam, the anesthetic will wear off and there may be mild discomfort. If you have pain, you may take Tylenol® (acetaminophen) and/or apply an ice pack over the bandage. Please follow these home care instructions:

  • Keep your bandage on until the next day.
  • Until the wound is healed, cleanse the area gently with soap and water daily.
  • Showering is fine. If you have sutures, you may shower normally — but no baths, hot tubs, or swimming until the sutures are removed.
  • Apply a thin layer of Vaseline®, Aquaphor®, or Polysporin® ointment to the area and then cover with a bandage every day until it’s healed (about one week).
  • If sutures are placed, continue applying a thin layer of the ointment of choice until you return to have your sutures removed.
  • If irritation occurs from the bandage, stop using the bandage but continue to apply the ointment.
  • Don’t let the air “get at it to breathe” or allow a scab/crust to form.
  • If any bleeding occurs, use a cotton ball or gauze and press firmly over the site for 15 minutes continuously. Do not remove the pressure before 15 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop after this is repeated 2-3 times, please contact our office.
  • It’s normal for the wound to be pink/red and a little tender while it is healing. If you develop pain, pus, or fever, please call our office. Increasing pain after 3-4 days may be a sign of infection

After a week or so, the area should be healed, leaving behind shiny, pink skin. This will slowly become more pale over the next several months.

Skin IQ

After a skin check and treatment, our goal is to boost our patient’s Skin IQ through education on sun protection strategies so that the risks of chronic sun exposure can be minimized. Patients learn daily skin care regimens, methods to avoid harmful UV rays, tips on sunscreen application, oral therapies to lessen the risk of skin cancer, self-skin exams, and much more.

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Why Choose Greco Dermatology for Your Skin Exam?

If you’re in the Sarasota area and you want a skin biopsy, you’re in the perfect place. Skin checks for lesions and growths are one of our primary services at Greco Dermatology — and one of the most important. We are a premier and comprehensive skin cancer center focusing on the surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer and suspicious lesions. Our patients experience relief when they understand the origin and nature of their lesion, and they find Dr. Greco to be honest, engaged, compassionate, knowledgeable, and intelligent. 

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Joseph F. Greco, M.D. is a third-generation medical provider and a double-board certified skin cancer specialist with a 15-year history as a Mohs surgeon at UCLA, one of the premier hospital systems in the nation. He takes a focused approach to skin cancer and suspicious lesions and understands that many patients are typically anxious for their skin exam — so he provides a warm personal touch by treating each patient as if they were from his hometown and bringing plenty of humor to each appointment.

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