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Wound Care After Mohs Surgery on Face: What You Need to Know

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wound care after mohs surgery on face

While Mohs surgery can be successful in eliminating skin cancer, it can leave a wound that requires proper treatment to ensure a safe and fast recovery.

In this article, we'll share the steps you can take for optimal wound recovery and healing after mohs skin cancer treatment on the face.

Mohs Post-Surgery Wound Care on Face

Skin cancer, especially when found on the face, can be a scary diagnosis. In order to ensure that all of the cancerous cells are removed, Mohs micrographic surgery is often recommended.

One of the most important steps in recovering from Mohs surgery is proper wound care after the procedure.

Why it's important

Proper wound care after Mohs surgery helps to prevent infection at the wound site. As with any type of surgical procedure or injury, infection poses a serious risk following Mohs surgery on the face.

Infection can delay healing and may require further treatment or even hospitalization if it gets bad enough.

Keeping the wound clean by gently washing away debris that could contain bacteria is one important part of preventing infection; along with ensuring that a clean bandage is used at all times.

This will help you heal faster and more effectively after the procedure.

Mohs Face Surgery: Wound Care Tips

It is essential to take the right steps to heal the wound properly after the surgery. You should always seek advice from your doctor about the best way to care for your wound and how long it will take to heal properly.

Here are some tips for wound care post-Mohs surgery:

Keep the wound dry and clean

Avoid washing water or soap directly onto the wound, as it can damage still developing tissue and cause further irritation. Instead, gently wash around it with a clean cloth or cotton ball. Change the dressing every day using sterile materials.

Use Ice Packs Sparingly

Applying cold packs immediately after surgery helps reduce swelling but use ice no more than 15 minutes at a time and make sure the pack is not too cold or painful against your skin. Too much exposure can cause serious damage to already fragile tissue.


Taking medication prescribed by your doctor will help ensure proper healing and reduce pain, especially when taken shortly after surgery as soon as possible. Common meds include ibuprofen (for pain) or antibiotics (for infection prevention). Speak with your doctor before taking any medication!

Protect Your Wound

A bandage will protect your wound from potential infection until it has healed enough that you no longer need a dressing or bandage daily. When outside, wear a wide brimmed hat if possible or keep direct sunlight off the affected area until everything is fully healed over.

Monitor It

Ask your physician what signs of healthy healing vs unhealthy healing look like so you know what to expect during different stages of healing and can identify any problems early on such as redness, swelling, oozing, etc., which could all be indicative of an infection or something worse if left untreated quickly enough.

What to Expect After a Mohs Surgery and Tips for Recovery

Mohs Surgery is an effective and precise treatment method used to remove certain types of skin cancer. The recovery process after Mohs Surgery is relatively short, but it's important to follow the instructions of your doctor in order to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Here are a few tips on what you should expect after a Mohs Surgery, as well as some tips on how to properly recover:

Surgical Site: After the surgery you will be given an injection with lidocaine or another local anesthesia and anesthetic cream, so that there won't be any pain at the surgical site.

Depending on the size and depth of the tumor being removed, extra stitches may be needed. Also, your doctor may suggest placing pressure dressings around the wound which will help clotting and reduce swelling.

Scar Tissue: Scar tissue can start healing soon after surgery occurs but it takes time for new skin layers to form together over the affected area. Your doctor or nurse may recommend covering the scar tissue with tape strips or ointment, or both, in order to minimize discomfort during this process.

Suture Removal: Stitches (or sutures) inserted during Mohs surgery usually dissolve over a period of weeks and do not have to be removed manually by your doctor or nurse.

However, depending on where they were placed they may irritate your skin along with any swelling associated with this type of procedure.

If you notice discomfort or irritation around sutures before they completely dissolve, talk with your doctor about ways in which you can further improve recovery results - especially if excess swelling occurs near critical areas like eyes or lips.

Pressure Dressings: In some cases pressure dressings applied post-surgery are recommended in order to reduce additional discomfort while giving protection against foreign bodies like dirt entering into open wounds left behind by surgery.

These bandages also help in reducing fluids that tend to accumulate around a wound when movement is restricted resulting from surgical operations.


Can I take a shower after Mohs facial surgery?

While the details of post-operative care can vary depending on the type, extensiveness and location of the surgery, it is generally recommended that you do not shower for at least 24 hours after having Mohs surgery on your face.

After that, you can shower as usual, but you should be careful to keep water away from the wound area. It’s also important to keep your bandages over or around the wound while showering to prevent bacteria from entering the area and causing infection. Additionally, it’s wise to apply a clean layer of antibiotic ointment after each time that you shower or wash your face.

I have scabs after Mohs surgery, do I just leave it alone to come off naturally?

Proper Care for Post-Surgical Scabs

It is important to care for your post-surgical scabs in the right way. To ensure a good cosmetic result, follow these steps:

  1. Hydrate the scabbed area around your surgical wound with plain Vaseline regularly.
  2. Keep the area protected and covered with a bandage until all of the scabbing and crusting is gone.
  3. Do not be concerned if you see some lifting near the edges of your surgical area - this will resolve itself naturally over time.
  4. Maintain contact with your surgeon, who may recommend further treatments like intralesional steroids or dermabrasion in 6-12 weeks after surgery to get the best possible results.

How should I treat my wound post Mohs surgery?

Post-Mohs Surgery Wound Care

After Mohs procedure, patients should be sure to follow the instructions of their doctor closely in order to ensure proper wound healing and minimize risk of infection on the skin.

Pain can be managed with Tylenol; NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen should generally be avoided. Swelling and bruising will likely reach its peak for 2-3 days after surgery; it should subside gradually within a week.

Reducing swelling can be achieved by elevating the affected area, as well as applying ice on the affected skin for 20 minutes at a time several times per day during the first few days.

Bleeding is common, however if bleeding becomes excessive or does not stop after 20 minutes of firm pressure has been applied, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

Wound care should include keeping the wound dry for 24 hours following the procedure, cleansing with 3% hydrogen peroxide or mild soap, applying petroleum jelly (if advised by your doctor), covering and protecting it with a dressing that won’t stick to the wound and wearing protective hats while spending time in direct sun exposure.

Depending on the individual case, further reconstructive surgeries may need to be conducted such as scar resurfacing or scar revision once skin healing is complete.

Will My Wound Scar After Mohs Surgery?

After Mohs surgery, you likely will be left with a scar. The size and location of the wound will determine which type of reconstruction is used to close it - it could be stitches, a skin graft, or a skin flap.

To ensure the best possible outcome and minimize scarring, patients follow best practices for wound care.


Dr. Mendese and his team at Dermatology and Skin Health

If you would like to learn more about what mohs surgery or reconstructive surgery can do for you or any particular skin condition that may require such treatments please contact us for an appointment with one of our experienced dermatologists.

Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding potential treatments and explain in detail why it might be necessary so you can make an informed decision about which procedure will work best for you.

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