Good news: No More Cancer.
Bad News: Very Noticeable Skin Cancer Scar on Your Face.
Skin Cancer Surgery Can Leave a Mark
- Two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year
- One in five will develop a skin cancer in their lifetimes
- Most skin cancers occur on the face
- Surgery often leaves skin cancer scars
Carolyn has been brave enough to share here skin cancer scar story in this moving video testimonial.
Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer Removal
A procedure known as Mohs Surgery is the most effective (98%+ cure rate) and the process limits the amount of tissue removed. Mohs surgery is used to treat the most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), as well as some types of melanoma and several uncommon skin cancers. A precise surgical technique, layers of cancerous tissue are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.
Mohs Surgery. Scar Minimized?
Mohs surgery differs from other techniques since the microscopic examination of all excised tissues during the surgery eliminates estimation about how far out or deep the roots of the skin cancer go. This process ensures two things: that the doctor got all of the cancer and that he took out only the amount that was necessary. The goal is to minimize the scar, but it is impossible to know exactly how your skin will heal. By comparison, non-Mohs skin cancer excision usually ranges from one to two inches and may require multiple surgeries if all of the skin cancer was not removed.
How to Conceal Skin Cancer Scars
However, despite the more conservative approach used in Mohs, we hear from our customers that they were shocked, horrified and distraught when they looked under the bandage and saw the wound for the first time. Even more distressing was the discovery that: there would definitely be a scar, there is no way to remove the scar and there are few affordable options to cover skin cancer scars.
Reconstruction to Minimize Skin Cancer Scars
Dermatologists refer to “reconstruction” as the process of repairing or fixing the wound. If there is enough mobility in the surrounding skin, closing the site with stitches is the most common approach. However, sometimes the doctor may believe that the area will heal best by letting the wound heal by itself naturally without stitches. This is called “healing by secondary intention”, and it takes several weeks to months for the skin to heal itself and the scar usually takes the shape of the original hole.
Plastic Surgery For Skin Cancer Scars
Since cosmetic surgery is elective, most insurance plans do not cover it and it is expensive. There are however, occasional exceptions when the reconstruction procedure is deemed medically necessary. The plastic surgeons do amazing work and for people with financial means, this is certainly a viable option worth exploring to diminish the severe appearance of the scar.
Skin Grafts for Skin Cancer
The plastic surgeons use skin grafts or move a flap of skin for reconstruction. Skin grafts are when skin is cut from another area and “transplanted” to cover the defect. For example, taking a piece of skin from near the ear to graft onto the nose. This has to be done carefully to ensure a good match of the skin as sometimes skin grafts can look patchwork.
Skin Flap Procedure
The skin “flap” procedure is where skin is moved and shifted to allow for stitches to pull the skin together. They might move skin from the forehead or cheek onto the nose, for example. Sometimes more complex or multiple staged reconstruction are required depending upon how much tissue is removed and whether other tissue such as cartilage and bone must be reconstructed and replaced. The plastic surgeons may also recommend additional refinement procedures like dermabrasion or injectable fillers to improve the appearance further.
Cosmetics to Cover Skin Cancer Scars
From a cosmetic or skin products perspective there are very few effective options to hide Mohs surgery scar and other skin cancer scars. Wax based concealers can take care of the discoloration of the scar but do not address the indention of a long scar or the divot of a deep scar.
New Products for Skin Cancer Scars
Dermaflage Concealer Kit is the first cosmetic that looks like real skin. It fills skin cancer scars and totally conceals them. You can think of it as makeup for skin cancer scars but it is really unlike anything you have ever seen. Check out the Reviews for unfiltered feedback from skin cancer patients.
If you want to learn more about how to heal, treat and conceal scars, check out what the top dermatologists say in the e-book below.Free Scar Guide