Skin cancers

Most skin cancers occur on the face due to its near constant exposure to the sun and UV rays. The choice of treatment made available is based on the type, size, and depth of penetration of the tumour, as well as the patient’s age and general health, and the likely outcome to his or her facial appearance.

Removing skin cancers with surgery

Surgical excision is a procedure to cut out the cancer from the skin along with surrounding healthy tissue to ensure the cancer is completely removed from the face. Surgery may be done in combination with a skin graft or with the use of a local skin flap rotated int o the skin defect to close the are of missing tissue. Initially the surgery may leave a rather unsightly scar which maybe quite red and lumpy however with time this should soften and pale.

Other methods of treating skin cancer include topical skin treatments for superficial lesions, radiotherapy, Mohs surgery and PDT (photodynanic therapy). Our surgeons work as part of skin cancer multidisciplinary teams and any patients requiring more complex decisions regarding there management are discussed in this meeting.

Cryotherapy is a form of treatment which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy skin keratosis which maybe a pre cursor to skin cancer. A month after the mole has been frozen the scab containing the keratosis will gradually scab and fall off.

With all type of skin cancer removal surgery you will need to have checkups before and after treatment to ensure its success.

What is the recovery like?

Generally, treatment to remove skin cancers can be undertaken under local anesthetic and is relatively quick and pain-free. The area of removal will be numbed or local anaesthetic applied to ensure your comfort. Once this wears off you can use paracetamol to manage any discomfort you experience. You may have a dressing or sutures applied in order to help with the healing and reduce the risk of infection from occurring.

Scars maybe a little red and lumpy initially, but as time goes by they will soften and fade.

The Face Surgeons