Gwinnett Dermatology has an in-house, full-service dermatopathology laboratory. Our lab specializes in processing and interpreting skin biopsy specimens. Our highly trained, board-certified dermatopathologist, Dr. Jessica J. Mercer, has many years of experience.
What is Dermatopathology?
Dermatopathology is a subspecialty of dermatology that studies skin, hair, and nail disease at a microscopic level. In some instances, the dermatologist may elect to remove a skin sample to aid in the diagnosis of a rash or tumor, and the dermatopathologist is the physician who examines the biopsy to make a diagnosis or determine the cause of disease. Dermatopathologists work in close association with dermatologists. In fact, many doctors train in both specialties.
One of the greatest challenges of dermatopathology is the high number of different skin diseases. There are an estimated 1500 different rashes and skin tumors, including variants. Therefore, dermatology and dermatopathology are among the most complex specialties of medicine.
Who is a Dermatopathologist?
Dermatopathologists are board-certified dermatologists or pathologists who have pursued additional training in the interpretation of skin biopsies. These physicians review biopsy specimen under the microscope in order to diagnose diseases and tumors of the skin, hair, and nails.
Why is Dermatopathology an important service to have in a practice?
An accurate microscopic interpretation of the biopsy is important in the selection of appropriate therapies. Therefore, it is essential that cases are examined by a physician who has special expertise in analyzing skin specimens. Because combining clinical and microscopic information is often important in making a diagnosis, it is a benefit for the dermatopathologist to work closely with the clinical provider.