Because many skin conditions can present similarly, it is sometimes necessary for a patient to undergo an investigation, which allows the dermatologist to obtain critical information essential in either diagnosing a condition or in ruling others out.

Without an accurate diagnosis, it is impossible to properly treat a condition.

Investigations might be minimally invasive, and involve a procedure that seems relatively routine, allowing the patient to resume their regular activities without much interference; or, they might be more complex and require some preparation beforehand, and follow-up care afterwards.

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