The Recovery Process After Skin Cancer Surgery

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When your doctor has diagnosed you with having skin cancer, you will likely be treated by having the tumor removed through surgery. Skin cancer is often a very treatable condition, but recovering from surgery can sometimes be difficult and it may take a long time before you feel like you have fully recovered.

What to Expect from the Area of the Incision

While everyone is different, some patients report that hair does not grow back near the area of the incision. The area might often be dry because it will not sweat as much and will be less oily. You might also notice changes in the texture of the skin or its color. However, the changes you see will partially be based on the steps you take to care for your skin.

How to Recover More Quickly

After the surgery, you will usually receive stitches until the incision heals. This is to speed up healing and reduce the number of scars. However, you may still see some scarring after your surgery. 

Your doctor will provide you with wound care instructions and it is important to follow all of them. For example, you might be asked to apply specific topical medications. For example, you may need to apply a neutral ointment to make sure that your skin heals quickly. This will allow you to recover more quickly from your surgery. 

Fortunately, recovery is much quicker and you can expect to be back to normal in less than a month. If you would like to engage in light activity, you will want to bring this up with your surgeon about whether it's a good idea to do so. 

Skin Reconstruction

Depending on how large the tumor was, you may need to have your skin reconstructed. Skin is elastic and recovers very well but sometimes your skin will need extra help from a cancer treatment center. You may need to have a skin graft created. 

This is when skin is taken from one area of your body and grafted onto a different site. Then, blood vessels grow toward the new area of skin and allow that area to become integrated with the rest of your body.

Warning Signs of Something Wrong

If the area of the surgery begins to smell bad, is swelling, is bleeding, or is very painful, make sure to contact the skin cancer treatment center to find out what to do.