Beautifying Your Skin

Can Scarring From Skin Cancer Surgery Be Avoided?

Finding out that you have skin cancer can be nerve-wracking, even if you know it can be safely removed. However, once your skin cancer is removed, you might be wondering if it will leave you with an unsightly scar. Thankfully, under the qualified hands of a skilled dermatologist, it's unlikely that you will experience more than minimal scarring. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of scarring even further.

Let it Heal

One of the main reasons that wounds scar is because they haven't been allowed to heal. The body does a remarkable job of healing itself, if it's allowed to proceed. If you pick, poke, or otherwise meddle with your incision site, you're not only increasing your risk of infection but increasing the likelihood that you'll develop a significant scar. Pockmarks are particularly common if you don't leave a skin cancer excision mark alone, and are much more difficult to repair than other forms of scarring. The best thing you can do to prevent a significant scar is to allow your skin to heal and to follow your dermatologist's directions exactly.

Avoid Topicals

Unless your dermatologist tells you otherwise, you should plan on avoiding applying any kind of skin product that could irritate your skin while the incision heals. This includes makeup, sunscreen, bug spray, and even lotion. These products can irritate your tissues while they're sensitive and delicate, which can increase the risk of a scar. In addition, if they cause itching, you may be more likely to scratch your skin, which could damage skin or rip off a scab, causing a scar.

Treat with Anti-Scar Cream

Talk to your dermatologist prior to or following your surgery regarding prescription-strength anti-scar creams. These products are designed to help reduce the risk of scarring and to flatten existing scars, so even if you've already developed a mark, you may still be able to diminish it drastically.

Treat it Later

Try not to worry too much about developing a scar from your skin cancer removal surgery. At the end of the day, once you're cancer-free, your dermatologist will be able to help. Laser treatments can drastically reduce the appearance of raised scars, and filler injections can be used to help reduce the appearance of pockmarks.

Skin cancer surgery doesn't have to leave a tremendous scar if you follow your dermatologist's directions and these suggestions. If you end up having a scar you're unhappy with, talk to your dermatologist, like Strnot Dermatology, to discuss what methods are available to you to have the scar diminished.