Janmar, yes, your memory is correct. I had multiple deep punch biopsies on my upper arms. "Multiple", because the early labs failed to do stain tests. Only later did I learn how stupid a lapse that was. My previous biopsies all showed lupuslike cell changes along the dermal-epidermal junction. The early lab reports stated that, yet my then-drs. didn't react. And didn't tell me.
Dr. Wallace discusses the stain tests in his hardcover. Apparently the chemicals used will light up certain immunoglobulins in a characteristic way that's seen *only* in lupus. So if the pathologist sees that, he's sure you have some form of lupus---but not which kind, meaning full-blown SLE, mild SLE, SCLE, etc. It's for your rheumie or dermie to determine the kind & extent of your lupus, based on the usual ACR criteria.
Success is variable, depending on age of lesions, on whether the punch is from lesional or non-lesional skin, and photo-exposed or not-photo-exposed skin. My last punch was on a new lesion on photoexposed skin, so finally
my timing was optimal.
I ran in circles for years, because I was ANA-negative, which seemingly happens more often with anti-Ro-style lupus. The stain tests, I was told, are an excellent tool for people whose symptoms & other tests are non-classic.
Results took approx. 1 month for me. Here's hoping you get the same level of professionalism and clear results! Good luck & let us know how you're making out, OK? All my best, Vee