What To Know About Mohs Surgery For Skin Cancer

Spending a lot of time out in the sun when you were in your teens and early twenties may have been fun, but now that you are older you may see the damage. Not only may you have things like hyperpigmentation and premature fine lines and wrinkles, but you may also spot some abnormal moles. If you see a mole that looks a bit abnormal, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. When you go to your appointment, they may perform a biopsy to see if it's cancerous. If they do find that it is cancerous, they may recommend a procedure called Mohs surgery.

What's Mohs surgery? 

Mohs surgery is a skin cancer treatment that was created by a surgeon named Frederic E. Mohs. During this procedure, your dermatologist or oncologist will start out by removing one layer of your skin where the skin cancer is and then look at it under a microscope to see if it has any cancerous cells in it. If your surgeon does find any, they will then remove another layer of skin and continue to repeat the entire process until there aren't any more cancerous cells detected.

Is it painful? 

Yes, Mohs surgery can be a bit painful, but your surgeon will typically try to apply some sort of topical anesthetic to numb the skin so that you don't feel a thing. The tricky thing about Mohs surgery is that because it's such an intricate procedure, it tends to take several hours on average which means they may have to re-numb the skin when you start to experience any pain.

What is recovery like after Mohs? 

Right after surgery, your doctor will then stitch up the area and cover it with a bandage. While it is healing, you should avoid water and the sun so that it is properly healed. If you notice any pain, inflammation, or pus at the incision site it may be a sign that you have an infection and you should call your doctor right away.

Having skin cancer can be really scary, especially when you have never experienced anything like it before. Depending on the type of health insurance you have, it may be covered under it which means you won't have to pay much if anything out of pocket. If you want to learn more about skin cancer treatments like Mohs surgery, reach out to a dermatologist near you today.