Does Skin Cancer Removal Have to Leave an Ugly Scar?

Two-thirds of Australians get skin cancer by the age of 70 and skin cancer removals are commonplace. However, it is not just people over a certain age who are affected by skin cancer. Even young people in their late teens, twenties and thirties can be affected. For example, this young woman who mistook a skin cancer for a pimple.

Young Woman who Mistook a Skin Cancer for a Pimple

The most common form of skin cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) which develops on visible parts of the skin which have been exposed to the sun. BCCs commonly form on the face, head, chest, shoulders, upper back or arms.

The safe and full removal of BCCs is essential in order to remove all traces of skin cancer. Most Australians probably know someone who has had a skin cancer removed in this way. Such removals are life-saving because they prevent the skin cancer from spreading to other areas of the body and developing into an incurable form of cancer.

Skin cancer removal surgery is ideally done by a skin or plastic surgery specialist. This is effective in removing the skin cancer and minimise the scarring.

A plastic surgeon can remove the skin cancer and also ensure that scarring is as unobtrusive as possible. This is particularly important if the skin cancer is on the face or upper chest where it is visible, difficult to hide and easily noticed.

Of course, the best approach with skin cancer is to minimise risk. To reduce the possibility of getting skin cancer we recommend you:

  • Apply sun protection cream with a high Sun Protection Factor every day – even in winter and on cloudy days;
  • Avoid being outside and exposed to the elements between 11 am and 3 pm;
  • If you are outside, protect yourself from exposure by wearing a hat, sunglasses and appropriate clothing, including a shirt with long sleeves;
  • Perform monthly skin health self-examinations;
  • Attend annual skin checkups with a specialist doctor.

If you’ve developed a skin cancer, been diagnosed with a Basal Cell Carcinoma, or are concerned about a lump or discolouration of your skin, please contact us promptly. The sooner skin cancers are diagnosed and removed the better.

As experienced plastic surgeons we understand the importance of not only fully removing skin cancer and sending it for further testing, but also minimising scarring so that you can continue to feel confident and happy in your skin.