Mohs Surgery: Why You May Need Mohs on the Scalp

Woman feeling her scalp Mohs Surgery: Why You May Need Mohs on the Scalp

Skin cancer can develop on any part of the body, but when cancers like melanoma crop up in certain areas, a specialized surgery may be required. Mohs micrographic surgery is an incredibly effective treatment for skin cancer on places like the scalp.

Skin Cancer Explained

Skin cancer is a common form of cancer, and it’s usually caused by prolonged sun damage. Harmful UV light in the sun’s rays, after years of exposure, can lead to skin cancer. As with all forms of cancer, skin cancer happens when cells are overproduced. While there isn’t an exact explanation for why cancer happens to some and not others, those with a history of sun exposure are far more likely to develop skin cancer.

Skin cancer is a scary prospect. Untreated, it can prove fatal. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is characterized by mole-like lesions. Melanoma moves very quickly, so it’s more dangerous than most other forms of skin cancer. On the skin, cancer doesn’t do too much harm, but once it metastasizes and spreads to internal organs, the odds of survival are much lower. Other types of cancer, like squamous and basal cell carcinoma, move more slowly, but they can likewise spread to other parts of the body. If caught early and treated, the worst thing skin cancer can do is leave behind a scar or discolor the skin around where it formed.

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an almost one hundred-year-old procedure for removing skin cancer growths. While surgical excisions for skin cancer work well, Mohs excels because of its versatility and efficiency. For larger growths, a more traditional surgery might be necessary. But if you’re a good candidate for Mohs, you’ll benefit from the many perks that efficiency provides. Most often, Mohs surgery is recommended for melanoma, because it’s the quickest way to address skin cancer. Mohs surgery works pretty simply. It can be conducted in your dermatologist’s office without the need for general anesthesia. Because of its precision, Mohs only removes thin layers of skin at a time, meaning that local anesthesia is all you need. Once your dermatologist removes the top layer of skin, they’ll examine it for evidence of skin cancer. The doctor will remove skin until no traces of cancer are detected. Generally, you will only need a few stitches after Mohs surgery. In some cases, with larger lesions from squamous or basal cell carcinoma, more stitches and recovery are necessary. After Mohs surgery, you can go home immediately after the surgery is completed.

Why You May Need Mohs on the Scalp

Unsurprisingly, the scalp is a place where many people develop skin cancer. It’s the part of your body that’s most exposed to sunlight, and while hair covers the skin, it’s not always enough. If you have shorter or thin hair, you may have gotten a sunburn on your scalp. If you develop skin cancer on your scalp, Mohs surgery might be your only option. Skin on the scalp is incredibly thin, and no treatment for skin cancer can work more efficiently on your scalp than Mohs. If you are prone to skin cancer, or have skin cancer, make sure to examine your scalp thoroughly, as hair can obscure its visible symptoms.

Skin cancer on your scalp can be a real cause for concern, but Mohs surgery is a quick and effective way to remove it. Reach out to schedule a skin cancer exam from the experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates today, and know that you’re getting the best care available.

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