A cancer diagnosis can turn your life upside down, leading you down a rabbithole in an attempt to find the best treatments and the best options for healing. Healthcare was always important, but with a cancer diagnosis, it suddenly becomes your number one priority. Skin Cancer is no different, you want answers and you want to know your best treatment options. And, unfortunately, this form of cancer affects more people than any other cancer.
The statistics are daunting. It’s known that one in five Americans will be afflicted with skin cancer by the time they turn 70. This leads to so many people asking the obvious question: if I’m the one in five, what should I do?
Mohs surgery could be an answer. Without the use of harsh and harmful treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, Mohs surgery takes cancerous cells out of the skin by gently and precisely removing the affected layers. Next, we’ll learn more about Mohs surgery and how you should plan your Mohs surgery aftercare.
Our skin has a natural instinct to heal itself, in fact, that natural instinct is triggered whenever a wound develops. Because Mohs surgery can create deep wounds that our bodies have a tough time healing from without medical help, it’s important to start wound care right after surgery. This allows your body the most opportune, best results possible.
First of all, it’s important to know what Mohs therapy can treat. Mohs surgery can help with some melanomas and common forms of skin cancer like basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. And now, here’s how it works: Mohs surgery is based on precision. It’s not like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which work on chunks of the body and skin at a time, killing good cells along with the bad ones. With Mohs therapy, thin layers of affected, cancerous skin cells are removed precisely, in a technique that keeps removing layer after layer until the only tissue that remains is cancer-free. The reason Mohs is so popular is that it preserves the patient’s healthy skin – and only removes the affected skin. Patients find this especially appealing when it comes to highly visible parts of the body and face like the eyes, nose, neck and ears. Patients also prefer it because it’s done in an outpatient setting, making it more convenient.
Just after Mohs surgery, your doctor will use pressurized bandaids on your wounds; this helps your body clot and leads to reduced blood loss. It’s crucial that Mohs surgery patients follow all instructions their doctors hand down, especially directions that deal with their bandages, because healthy bandaid use can prevent infection. Most doctors will tell their Mohs patients not to do any heavy lifting or bathing for at least 24 to 48 hours.
Redness and inflammation may subside in as many as six months – but this is dependent on the length and depth of the wound. Instead of waiting for Mohs wounds to heal on their own, patients are encouraged to seek out a wound care specialist to lead them on their post-skin-cancer-surgery journey. As always, the sooner you visit a qualified wound care specialist, the better your chances of healing ideally. As with any surgery, patients who want to successfully heal from Mohs surgery should practice proper wound care techniques along with healing treatments that are meant to accelerate the recovery process.
Next, we’ve outlined two wound care options that are meant to help with the health and appearance of skin after Mohs surgery.
A key component of any post-surgical plan is infection prevention – this means keeping the wound clean and covered properly. Doing this will lower any risk of infection and help with a better recovery. Patients should look out for the following possible indications of infection:
Steroids are offered by many doctors as a way to minimize inflammation and decrease potential scarring. Doctors may especially be keen on offering steroids when it comes to visible areas of the body, like the face and neck. This is because steroids are effective at taking down inflammation. Steroids can come in the form of injections or topicals – either method has its benefits and drawbacks. And, it should be noted that steroid treatments can cause unwanted side effects like skin discoloration and skin thinning. Topical steroids work on top of the skin by restoring broken blood vessels and thus decreasing redness and swelling at the site. Steroid injections work under the skin, and, of course, they’re injected. These steroids work by breaking up collagen fibers, which lessen scar tissue hidden underneath the skin.
When going for Mohs surgery, it is important to think of your wound aftercare. Finding a specialist to help you with your wound is incredibly important – and that’s what we do best. At Wound Care OC, we specialize in wound care.
In Orange County, Wound Care OC is the preeminent source for the very best professionals and resources for treating puncture wounds and others types of wounds including diabetic ulcers, pressure wounds, bedsore wounds, burns, C-section wounds, post-surgical wounds, and more. Regardless of how your puncture has occured or how advanced it is, we can get you moving toward the best possible outcome. We have helped many patients to a complete recovery from this difficult health challenge, and have the confidence to guide you as well. Call our office today, and we can schedule you for an initial evaluation. You will be glad you did.