Skin cancer grows on your largest and most visible organ, your skin. That means when you undergo surgery to remove the skin cancer, layers of your skin is removed until the cancer is gone and then reconstruction is performed. Even with very skilled reconstruction surgery, there is generally still scarring. However, scarring can be minimized through a variety of steps.
#1 Find A Highly Skilled Surgeon
To start with, you need to find a highly skilled surgeon who has experience with skin cancer and reconstruction. Ideally, they will have some photographic evidence they can share with you that shows the work that they have done in the past removing skin cancer and leaving behind minimal scarring. You want to work with someone who you feel you trust in their work. With skin cancer it is about minimizing disfiguration, as multiple layers of your skin are removed, as well as about minimizing scarring. A skilled surgeon understands this delicate balance.
#2 Follow Your Doctor's Care Instructions
After your skin cancer surgery your doctor will provide you with very specific care instructions. These after- surgery instructions will help you figure out how to care for your skin wound. A dressing will be applied to your skin wound, and you will be asked to keep that dressing on for a certain period of time. Keep the dressing on and don't take it off until you are supposed to.
It is also a general rule of thumb that you have to keep the dressing dry. Keeping the dressing dry helps with the healing process and will help make sure you don't get an infection.
Listen to the direction that your surgeon gives you. Once of the best things that you can do is follow all those directions, even directions about limiting physical activity. These directions are all in place to ensure that your wound heals properly, and if you want to minimize scarring, you need to follow your doctor's instructions.
#3 Use a Cold Pack
You will experience some swelling after the cancer is removed. This swelling can be minimized by applying an ice pack to the surgery site for about fifteen minutes. This should only be done once on hour, and the ice pack should be applied over the dressing. Doing this in the day right after surgery will help minimize swelling, which will help with the wound healing process.
If you need to have surgery to remove skin cancer, choose a doctor or dermatology specialist who is highly skilled, follow all their post-surgery care instructions, and use an ice pack to help with swelling.