Skin lesion removal - aftercare
A skin lesion is an area of the skin that is different from the surrounding skin. This can be a lump, sore, or an area of skin that is not normal. It may also be a skin cancer or a noncancerous (benign) tumor.
You have had a skin lesion removal. This is a procedure to remove the lesion for examination by a pathologist or to prevent recurrence of the lesion.
You may have sutures or just a small open wound.
It is important to take care of the site. This helps prevent infection and allows the wound to heal properly.
Shave excision - skin aftercare; Excision of skin lesions - benign aftercare; Skin lesion removal - benign aftercare; Cryosurgery - skin aftercare; BCC - removal aftercare; Basal cell cancer - removal aftercare; Actinic keratosis - removal aftercare; Wart -removal aftercare; Squamous cell-removal aftercare; Mole - removal aftercare; Nevus - removal aftercare; Nevi - removal aftercare; Scissor excision aftercare; Skin tag removal aftercare; Mole removal aftercare; Skin cancer removal aftercare; Birthmark removal aftercare; Molluscum contagiosum - removal aftercare; Electrodesiccation - skin lesion removal aftercare
How to Care for Stitches
Stitches are special threads that are sewn through the skin at an injury site to bring the edges of a wound together. Care for your stitches and wound as follows:
How to Care for an Open Wound
If your provider does not close your wound again with sutures, you need to care for it at home. The wound will heal from the bottom up to the top.
You may be asked to keep a dressing over the wound, or your provider may suggest leaving the wound open to air.
Keep the site clean and dry by washing it once a day. You will want to prevent a crust from forming or being pulled off. To do this:
DO NOT use skin cleansers, alcohol, peroxide, iodine, or soap with antibacterial chemicals. These can damage the wound tissue and slow healing.
The treated area may look red afterwards. A blister will often form within a few hours. It may appear clear or have a red or purple color.
You may have a little pain for up to 3 days.
Most of the time, no special care is needed during healing. The area should be washed gently once or twice a day and kept clean. A bandage or dressing should only be needed if the area rubs against clothes or may be easily injured.
A scab forms and will usually peel away within 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the area treated.
The following tips may help:
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider right away if:
After full healing has taken place, call your provider if the skin lesion does not appear to be gone.
Habif TP. Dermatologic surgical procedures. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 27.
Levin Y, Brown KL, Phillips TJ. Wound healing and its impact on dressings and postoperative care. In: Robinson JK, Hanke CW, Siegel DM, Fratila A, Bhatia AC, Rohrer TE, eds. Surgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 8.
Review Date: 5/24/2018
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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