You have lots to consider following a skin cancer diagnosis, and your dermatologist can help you weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option available to you. Beyond the treatments’ effectiveness, you may wonder about recurrence rates, preparation, aftercare, and the possibility of scarring.
Mohs surgery is a novel skin cancer surgery that dermatologists typically recommend for common types of skin cancer such as basal and squamous cell carcinomas as well as some melanomas. This surgical technique is often favored because it preserves as many healthy skin cells in the region as possible.
Your dermatologist removes a layer of cells at a time from the skin cancer, examining each individual layer under a microscope to zero in on the cancer’s location. They repeat the process until they can no longer detect any cancerous cells in a removed portion of skin.
Here at Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey, our team of skin experts provides skin exams and detailed skin cancer treatment to New Jerseyans from convenient locations in Old Bridge, Freehold, and Union, New Jersey. They can answer your questions about Mohs surgery and help you compare it to other skin cancer treatments.
Our team helps you consider Mohs surgery from all sides and can tell you what you can expect in terms of scarring.
Does Mohs surgery leave a scar?
With any skin cancer removal surgery, including standard excision and cryosurgery, you can expect a scar to take the place of the cancerous spot or lesion. Mohs surgery is no exception, so you should expect at least a slight change in the color, texture, or firmness of your skin in the area once your skin heals from Mohs surgery. Depending on the amount of skin your dermatologist removes, they may need to close the hole with stitches and remove them later.
A critical difference between Mohs surgery and other techniques is that Mohs surgery seeks to minimize scarring. Your surgeon carefully attempts to remove cancerous cells without taking too many healthy cells along for the ride. As a result, you lose less skin and experience less scarring.
What you can do to minimize scarring
Any scar that you see after Mohs surgery will most likely become less prominent over time as the healing process proceeds. The scar may appear reddish for some time as the skin develops new blood vessels in the area, and the redness fades over time.
Additionally, skin contraction that happens as your skin heals after Mohs surgery peaks around four or six weeks after the surgery. This process causes the scar to look bumpy or hard, but once the contraction starts to go down, the scar softens.
Our team at Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey can work with you to minimize scarring after Mohs surgery. They offer several treatments in the office to minimize the appearance of scars, including microneedling which facilitates the healing process all over again. Strategically placed dermal fillers can also help conceal a small scar that Mohs surgery left behind.
If you’re curious about Mohs surgery as a potential option for your skin cancer treatment, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey today.