Skin Cancer Screening

Strategies For Minimizing Scarring After Mohs Surgery

If you were diagnosed with malignant melanoma, then your dermatologist may have recommended that you undergo Mohs surgery. During this procedure, layers of skin are removed and analyzed under a microscope until no evidence of melanoma cells is detected.

Once the last layer of skin that has been removed is clear of melanoma cells, no additional layers are removed. While effective, Mohs surgery, as well as all other types of skin cancer surgery, cause scarring. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can help reduce scarring. Here are some of those strategies to talk to your dermatologist about. 

Dermabrasion And Laser Surgery

Your dermatologist may recommend dermabrasion or laser surgery to smooth out uneven skin and minimize scarring after your Mohs surgery. Laser resurfacing procedures are especially good at minimizing the appearance of scarring; however, you will need to make sure that your surgical site has completely healed before considering these methods.

It can take many months before your skin is completely healed after skin cancer surgery. If you undergo dermabrasion or laser resurfacing before your skin has healed, it may make scarring worse instead of better. While waiting for your skin to heal so that you can have dermabrasion or a laser procedure, you should avoid the sun, because sun exposure can darken the affected area, enhancing the appearance of the scar.

Vitamin C

Both serums containing vitamin C and vitamin C supplements can help minimize scarring after Mohs surgery. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also thought to enhance collagen function after surgical procedures.

Vitamin C may also help fade scars so that they are less visible. Instead of serums and supplements, you can simply increase your dietary intake of vitamin C rich foods. Foods high in vitamin C include lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and strawberries.

Green leafy vegetables also contain vitamin C, as do broccoli and cauliflower. To preserve your vitamin C stores, avoid drinking too much coffee because it interferes with vitamin C absorption. Taking large doses of aspirin also inhibits vitamin C absorption. 

To learn more about how to minimize scarring after Mohs surgery, talk to your dermatologist. While the above methods may be effective in reducing the appearance of your surgical scar, it may take months or even years before you achieve the desired effect. When you are patient and see your dermatologist on a regular basis, you will eventually achieve the aesthetic results that you were striving for.