Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, visitor restrictions and resources →

Skin lesion aspiration

  • Definition
    • Skin lesion aspiration is the withdrawal of fluid from a skin lesion (sore).

  • How the Test is Performed
    • A needle is put into skin sore or skin abscess, which may contain fluid or pus. The fluid may be examined under a microscope. A sample of the fluid may also be sent to a lab. There, it is put in a lab dish (called a culture medium) and watched for growth of bacteria or fungi.

  • How to Prepare for the Test
    • You do not need to prepare for this test.

  • How the Test Will Feel
    • The health care provider may inject a numbing medicine (anesthetic) into the skin before inserting the needle if the sore is deep.

      You may feel a pricking sensation as the needle enters the skin.

      In many cases, removing the fluid will lessen pressure within the skin sore and ease pain.

  • Why the Test is Performed
    • This test is used find the cause of a fluid-filled skin lesion. It can be used to diagnose skin infections.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean
    • Abnormal results may be a sign of a infection caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses.

  • Risks
    • There is a small risk of bleeding, mild pain, or infection.

  • References