What are they?
Minor surgical procedures that take up to one hour. They are performed under local anaesthetic, which means they are entirely painless. You can go home straight afterwards.
Who has them?
Your dermatologist may want to take a biopsy of a suspicious lesion, or you may opt to have harmless but unsightly lumps, moles or growths removed.
You will be asked to sit or lie down. Your skin will be cleaned with disinfectant, then numbed with an injection of anaesthetic called lignocaine, which is also used at the dentist. It will take up to five minutes for your skin to become numb. If you are having a biopsy, a 4mm sample of the lesion will be removed using a specially-designed surgical blade. The skin will then be closed with up to four stitches, which will be removed a week or two later. If you are having an entire lesion removed, an eye-shaped piece of skin will be cut out, and the skin will be closed with stitches. These will be removed a week or two later and you will be left with a small scar.
What happens afterwards?
You will be told how to care for the wound to reduce the risk of infection. You should be able to get back to normal movement and exercise after two weeks. Try not to get the wound wet for 24 hours. You don’t need to cleanse the area, but you should apply Vaseline on a daily basis. This helps with healing and prevents infection by blocking bacteria. If you’ve had a biopsy, your dermatologist will contact you to let you know the results.
“Dr Clare is my secret weapon! She quickly and painlessly removed several unsightly skin tags that had been bothering me for years. She also prescribed a simple, inexpensive regimen to tackle the melasma that developed during my first pregnancy.”
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