What happens after skin lesion removal?
Did you know that in addition to annual exams, medical testing and pediatric care, family physicians routinely perform skin lesion removal? Lesions, such as moles or cysts, can range from cosmetic blemishes that you’d rather live without to cancerous skin cells that must be removed for your health. If you have a skin lesion removed, what happens after?
Skin lesion removal is usually a straightforward, outpatient procedure. There are several ways for the removal to be performed, and which method your doctor chooses will depend on the type of lesion and its location.
After the lesion is removed, the area will be cleaned and bandaged. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics to prevent infection at the removal site. They will review care instructions, such as keeping the area clean and dry, and avoiding touching or scratching at the area. Most removal sites will take several weeks to completely heal. During this time, your doctor will also recommend avoiding strenuous activity that may irritate or reopen the wound. You should also keep the area protected from the sun to minimize scarring. A scar cream can also be helpful in limiting scarring.
Some pain or discomfort at the removal site is common immediately following the procedure. Generally this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. If your pain is not well-managed, talk to your doctor about other options or pain-relief techniques.
If your skin lesion was biopsied, you will be contacted with your results. Concerning results may warrant further testing or treatment. Your doctor may also recommend a followup appointment to monitor the removal area for reinfection or regrowth of the lesion. In the meantime, report any unusual symptoms or changes you notice to your doctor.
To learn more about skin lesion removal, call Westgate Family Physicians at (864) 574-0070.