Why Surgical Treatments are the Best Choice for Skin Growths
If you have a skin growth that looks abnormal, it is important to have a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute look at it immediately to determine what kind of skin growth it is. Once discussed with a dermatologist, a plan of action for removal can be put into place. Whether the growth is benign or malignant, or whether you’re considering removal for cosmetic or medical reasons, surgically removing skin growths is an important choice to ensure your health and safety.
Various Skin Growths and What They Mean
Paying extra attention to skin growths can help prevent the spread and damage of any cancer-related symptoms. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you notice any atypical moles or skin growths and/or have a family history of melanoma, be sure to always take notice and seek proper treatment. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer because of how rapidly it can spread. Other kinds of cancer include basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. It appears as either a shiny or translucent bump on the skin, a sore that does not heal, or a reddish irritated patch of skin. It is typically found on areas of the body most often exposed to the sun. SCC may appear as a crusted or scaly area with a red inflamed base resembling a bump or crusted patch of skin. Like BCC, it can appear on skin most often exposed to the sun, but it can also appear in areas that are never exposed to sunlight. If you have any of these symptoms, a dermatologist will likely recommend surgical removal of the skin growth.
Surgical Treatment Options
There are many options to consider when contemplating surgical removal of a skin growth.
- A shave excision is used for lesions on the skin. The skin growth is removed with a small blade and medicine may be applied to stop the bleeding.
- A scissor excision is performed on raised skin lesions. Snips are made around and under the lesion with a small pair of scissors.
- A surgical excision is performed when lesions are deep under the skin. Stitches will likely be needed after.
An additional common and effective skin cancer treatment is Mohs micrographic surgery in which as little of the affected tissue is removed until no cancer cells remain. Once removed, the tumor is taken to an onsite lab to determine if any skin cancer remains. This portion of the procedure often takes the longest while doctors determine the presence of cancer cells. If cancer cells remain, another layer of tissue is taken and examined in the lab.
You will likely be given local anesthesia during this procedure before the tumor portion is removed. After the removal, the dermatologist will determine the best way for the wound to heal and either leave it open or stitch it closed. Mohs micrographic surgery is recommended for recently discovered BCC and SCC, or for existing growths that are aggressive or growing rapidly. The surgery is also recommended for some cases of melanoma.
If you think are a candidate for surgical treatment for a skin growth and are located in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form to discuss the matter with a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. Our dermatologists can provide you with the best treatment and any after-care needed.