WOUNDS AND SCARS
Healing the Wounds and Scars From Mohs Surgery
During Mohs surgery, the cancer and the skin around it will be removed. This will make a wound, which will likely leave a scar that can be seen. Talk with your doctor about what you can expect after Mohs. This will help you be sure Mohs is the right skin cancer treatment for you and prepare you for the follow-up needed to help you heal.
What happens to the wound left from Mohs surgery?
There is no way to know how big the wound from Mohs surgery will be, how it will be closed, or how it will heal until all the cancer is removed. There are many options for closing a Mohs surgery wound. Talk with your surgeon about these options before surgery so you can make the best decision for you.
Smaller wounds can be left to close on their own or can be closed with a straight line of stitches. Larger wounds may need a skin graft or skin flap. This may be done by a Mohs surgeon or another doctor, like a plastic surgeon, on the same or different day.
What can I do before surgery to have a better-looking scar?
Mohs surgery will likely leave a scar that may take up to a year to heal. This scar is often larger than people think it will be. One study showed that more than 8 of 10 people who had Mohs surgery ended up with a scar that was larger than they thought it was going to be, based on the conversation they had with their surgeon.
There are steps you can take to help your chances of having a better-looking scar:
- Reduce stress
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy diet
- Follow the instructions for follow-up care
- Limit your activities after surgery so that the skin does not stretch
- Protect your scar from the sun
8 to 10
people who had Mohs
surgery end up with a
larger than they
thought it would be
What can be done to help my scar look better after it heals?
If your skin does not heal as well as you would like, there are treatments you can discuss with your doctor to lessen your scar. These include:
- Lasers, which are used to reduce redness and smooth the texture of the skin
- Dermabrasion, which is like polishing the skin to even it out
- Scar removal or revision
- Creams and ointments to thin the skin
- A combination of these treatments