Common skin problems adults have include athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and hives. Additional skin issues include acne, shingles, cold sores, skin tags and razor bumps. Physicians are capable of diagnosing skin disorders by looking at the skin for abnormalities, notes the Merck Manual. As of 2015, there is a large selection of examinations to diagnose skin conditions, reports WebMD. Typical skin tests include a patch test, a culture test and a skin biopsy.
Patch testing primarily helps to diagnose skin allergies, says WebMD. A doctor performs the test by applying the suspected allergen to the skin with an adhesive patch. It stays on the skin for a specified amount of time, and then the doctor removes the suspected allergen and inspects the skin. The doctor takes a culture to identify a virus, bacteria or fungus that is causing an infection. The culture may include biopsies, contents of pus bumps, hair or skin scrapings.
Skin biopsies help diagnose benign or malignant skin conditions. A doctor conducts this procedure after applying a local anesthetic. If necessary, the area is closed with stitches. The doctor sends the skin sample to a laboratory for analysis, according to WebMD. Additional tests to diagnosis skin conditions are diascopy, the Tzanck test and Wood's light, states the Merck Manual.