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Skin cancer: Post-treatment care
Excision of lesions


  • Dressings should be left intact until the post-operative appointment, unless they are extremely soiled, in which case they can be removed and replaced with a clean one.

  • Outer pressure dressings can be removed after 48 hours and all other dressings should be left alone. Chlorsig EYE ointment may be given to use each morning on the wound (not your eyes) if the wound is left uncovered.

  • Sutures are usually removed 7-14 days post-operatively, depending on the size and area of the excision. You may be asked to return to the clinic to have them removed or to your GP.

  • Once the sutures have been removed steri-strips may be applied, at which time they can be gotten wet and dabbed dry. These can be left on until they fall off on their own.




  • The wounds will immediately start to heal but could take up to 4-6 weeks to completely heal. Scabs will form over 24 hours and should be left alone until they drop off on their own.

  • If the scabs are picked it may cause scarring.

  • For 10 days following treatment avoid rubbing the area, applying any creams or sprays and getting wet.




  • Sometimes cryotherapy treatment can cause blisters to form at the treated area.

  • Leave uncovered unless the wound begins to weep. If it does, apply betadine & cover with a simple dressing. 

  • Further cryotherapy treatments may be needed once the blisters have healed, usually after 4 to 6 weeks.


Sentinel node biopsy or axillary/groin dissection


  • It is not unusal to develop a fluid collection in either your armpit or groin after a sentinel node biopsy or axillary/groin dissection. The amount of collection is different for each patient and cannot be predicted beforehand.

  • If a lump develops and it becomes extremely tight you may need to return to the clinic to have it aspirated to relieve the pressure. Sometimes this may need to be done under ultrasound guidance at a radiology centre. This can be organised by our clinic or your GP.

  • Sometimes this fluid may develop quite quickly and may begin to either ‘leak’ from your wound or ‘burst’ out rapidly which, although can be distressing, is not cause for great concern.   It is important that you use an absorbent dressing to manage the fluid and contact the clinic if you are concerned.

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