Tips for Consistent Wound Healing During Mohs Surgery Recovery
Mohs surgery produces some of the best aesthetic results for skin cancer removal. This precise technique minimizes the removal of healthy skin, while effectively removing all cancer from the area. If you have skin cancer in a highly visible area, Mohs surgery is likely the technique we will recommend for your lesion removal.
Good aesthetic results are dependent on a few factors. The skill of the dermatologist performing your procedure is essential. Mohs surgery is a highly specialized and precise technique. It is best performed by a doctor with extensive training and experience performing this delicate micrographic surgery.
Your results aren’t entirely up to your doctor. We do our part in surgery, and you do yours at home. Recovery is another essential factor that determines the success of this procedure. Taking care of your wound properly and helping it heal consistently can dramatically improve your results.
Here are our best tips for healthy wound healing during Mohs surgery recovery.
Minimize Physical Activity
Exercise and strenuous activity are a good thing most days, but right after surgery, increased blood flow is something you’ll want to avoid. Physical activity gets the blood flowing, increasing bleeding risk. We ask patients to temporarily avoid aerobic activities such as jogging and heavy lifting. A gentle walk is usually OK, as long as you’re careful to keep your heart rate close to normal.
Another reason for reducing activity is to limit stretching of the healing tissues. Normally, the skin is very elastic and able to stretch and bend with you. For the first couple of weeks after surgery, your skin only has a fraction of its usual strength. Too much movement can disturb the healing tissues, overstretching and potentially tearing them. This advice is especially important if you had your surgery performed on a flexible area with lots of movement, like the hand.
Watch for Infection
Infection is one of the most significant concerns after skin cancer surgery. If this complication occurs, it can slow healing and increase scarring. If not treated, it can lead to serious complications. If you do experience infection, prompt treatment can reduce the risk. If you spot one of these signs of infection, let us know as soon as possible.
- Growing redness around the surgical area
- Enlarged lymph nodes near the surgical site
- Red splotches
- Pain that worsens after surgery
Stay out of the Sun
Freshly healing wounds are highly susceptible to sun damage. Too much sun can lead to permanent darkening of your scars.
After Mohs surgery, we recommend limiting sun exposure as much as possible. If you must go outdoors, wear a hat, use sun protection, and cover up.
Smoking constricts the blood vessels and slows healing. If you smoke, quit before surgery, and avoid using tobacco and nicotine products during the recovery process.
Keep Things Moist
Creams, ointments, and silicone covers can keep your wound moist, potentially reducing scarring. We’ll provide detailed after-care instructions and can recommend our favorite products for reducing scar formation after Mohs surgery.
Having skin cancer removed is stressful, but stress is the last thing you need. Stress hormones inhibit healing. Take a deep breath, relax, and know that we’re taking care of you. Skin cancer is very treatable if caught early.
If You Have a Scar
We’ll do our best to minimize scarring after Mohs surgery, but don’t fret if a scar does occur. There are ways to smooth and improve the appearance of your scars after healing. These include:
If you have scarring, let us help you explore your options. Call us at 626-793-7790 to schedule a consultation at our Pasadena dermatology office.