Most people have at least some kind of growth (or growths) somewhere on their skin, whether it’s a mole, collection of freckles, or skin tags. In many cases, these growths are benign, not presenting any real threat to the individual. Some skin growths, however, may signify a serious health issue like skin cancer. It’s important to have these malignant lesions removed as quickly as possible to prevent their spread throughout the skin and body. Of course, even those with harmless skin growths may want to have theirs removed as well for cosmetic or less serious health reasons.
Whatever the case may be, there are various surgical ways to remove skin growths, such as through shave excision, scissor excision, surgical excision, laser excision, curettage, electrodesiccation, and Mohs micrographic surgery. Some of these methods are more invasive and involved than others, depending on the type and severity of the lesion. Cryotherapy (freezing) may also be used to remove skin growths.
Your dermatologist will help decide which type of surgical treatment is right for your skin. Generally speaking, these procedures are highly effective and beneficial. Let’s explore these benefits of surgical treatments for skin growths.
As mentioned above, the most pressing reason to remove a skin growth is if it’s likely to become cancerous or if it already is. The two most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These tumors often occur on the face or neck and typically result from prolonged sun exposure. Fortunately, these growths are easily removed by a procedure known as Mohs surgery, in which small, targeted layers of skin are removed until the root of the cancer is eliminated. This surgery boasts an average cure rate of 99 percent, making it the most effective method for getting rid of skin cancer.
Of course, the Mohs procedure is only necessary for removing cancerous growths. Different surgical methods are used for other types of growths, but they’re all effective as well, removing 100 percent of the unwanted lesion.
The term “surgery” often carries connotations of prolonged operations and repeat visits to a medical facility. However, skin growth surgeries are among the least time-consuming. Of course, certain procedures take longer than others, but most of them clock in at under 30 minutes, with many taking as little as 5-10 minutes. Best of all, once the growth is gone, the patient can get on with their day right away. As long as the patient takes proper care of the treated area as instructed by their dermatologist, it’s unlikely that they’ll undergo any complications or have to come back to complete the procedure.
Not only are skin growth removal treatments short in duration, the skin heals relatively quickly, too. Healing time will vary based on your age, overall health, skin type, and severity of the surgery. On average though, it only takes about two or three weeks for the wound to heal. This is much shorter than many other surgeries which may take months or years to fully recover from.
The idea of surgery instills fear in some people, often because these procedures sound scary and painful. No one would blame them, either. The terms “excision surgery,” “scissor excision,” and “shave excision” don’t exactly sound pleasant.
The good news, though, is that none of these treatments should be feared. Aside from properly removing the growth itself, the dermatologist’s main job is to minimize the patient’s discomfort and prevent pain whenever possible. So, they will apply a local anesthetic to the treated area before performing the surgery. This causes complete numbness so the patient doesn’t feel a thing. After the treatment is over and the anesthesia wears off, there may be some dull pain, but medication will be prescribed to reduce any lingering discomfort.
Skin growths can range from annoying to dangerous. It’s good to know that, for the most part, removing them is simple, effective, and fast. If you’re concerned about your skin’s health, appearance, or both, Premier Dermatology is here to help. Our team of medical professionals, cosmetic dermatologists, and surgeons can answer your questions and help you obtain the skin you desire. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.