Skin lesion gram stain
A gram stain of a skin lesion is a laboratory test that uses special stains to detect and identify bacteria in a sample from a skin sore. The gram stain method is one of the most commonly used techniques for the rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections.
Your health care provider will remove a sample of tissue from the skin sore. For information on how this is done, see the article on skin lesion biopsy.
The sample is sent to a laboratory, where it is applied in a very thin layer to a glass slide. A series of different colored stains is applied to the sample. A laboratory team member examines the stained slide under a microscope, checking for bacteria. The color, size, and shape of the cells help identify the infecting organism.
No preparation is needed for the laboratory test.
The laboratory test is painless. For information on what it feels like to have the skin sample removed, see skin lesion biopsy.
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of an infected skin sore. The test is done to determine which bacteria is causing the infection.
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