There’s good news for anyone avoiding their potentially life-saving full body skin exam for fear of more drastic measures that might need to be taken if a suspicious mole or skin problem were to be found.
A new, non-invasive, skin biopsy method, referred to as the “tape test” allows doctors to take skin samples without anesthetic, cutting or shaving of the skin.
According to DermTech, the company that manufactures the test, the technology allows for the analysis of skin biopsy samples collected non-invasively using an adhesive patch.
Traditionally, dermatologists have relied on surgical procedures to collect skin biopsies. This new technology provides physicians with a non-invasive option for the biopsy of clinically atypical pigmented lesions using an adhesive patch rather than a scalpel.
Once the skin sample is collected, DermTech uses RNA, or gene sequencing, analysis to look for markers that would point to the presence of melanoma in the skin.
The results take only three days to process, and the technique is best suited for delicate areas where cutting or disturbing the skin could leave a scar.