If you have superficial basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ, or warts, Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C) may be an excellent treatment option for you. This treatment usually takes less than an hour to perform. If you are ready to address your skin’s problem areas in a quick and effective way, Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA is here to help.
How Long Does Electrodesiccation Take To Heal?
A wound from Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C) typically takes 2-3 weeks to heal. If the treatment is performed on the lower extremities, the wound can take 2-3 months to fully heal. ED&C may be performed more than once if additional cancerous cells present themselves in the same area. Proper wound care by the patient will result in healing without infection.
What Is Involved in an ED&C Treatment?
At the beginning of your treatment, the area of concern will be sterilized and anesthetized (or numbed) with lidocaine. A curette, which is a semi-sharp scoop-like instrument, will be used to scrape the unhealthy tissue away until healthy skin is revealed. Next, an electrocautery device applies small amounts of electricity to the treatment area. This will loosen and burn away the remaining cancerous cells while sealing the blood vessels to lessen or stop the bleeding.
Basal cell carcinomas are typically softer than the surrounding tissue, making them easy to scrape away. Squamous cell carcinoma in situ is usually rougher and harder than normal tissue so doctors are able to tell where the diseased tissue ends and the healthy tissue begins. Multiple treatments may be necessary to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells or roots. After cauterizing the site, ointment and a bandage are applied. No stitches are required for this treatment.
Is Electrodessication the Right Treatment Option for Me?
The best way to find out if this is the right treatment option for you is to come and see Dr. Brent Taylor at our office to assess the area of concern. Together, you will form a plan for treatment. Electrodesiccation and Curettage is typically used to treat mild, well-defined, and shallow skin cancers. It is also used to treat pre-cancerous growths and benign growths such as warts.
The Importance of Self Exams and Skin Cancer Screenings
Catching skin cancer early on is crucial to successful treatment. In fact, early detection can save your life. For example, melanoma caught in an early stage can be removed surgically. If it is not caught early, however, it can spread to the lymph nodes which can be fatal if chemotherapy is not effective. For this reason, annual skin cancer screenings with a trained professional like Dr. Brent Taylor are highly recommended.
In between doctor’s visits, it is important to keep an eye on your skin. Be aware of any new growths forming, or any existing growths changing in shape, size, or color. Perform a self-examination at least once a month by following these steps:
- In a well-lit room, use a full-length mirror to check the front of your body including your face, neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, arms, and legs.
- Turn sideways with arms raised and check both sides of your body, including your underarms.
- With your back to the large mirror, use a handheld mirror to check the back of your neck, arms, back, buttocks, and legs.
- Looking down at your body, closely examine your forearms, palms, back of hands, fingernails, and in between each finger.
- Sit down and check your feet, examining the tops, soles, toenails, and in between each toe.
If you notice anything suspicious, call our office immediately to make an appointment.
Skin Cancer Screenings
A skin cancer screening is a visual exam performed by Dr. Brent Taylor. In our office, he will inspect your skin for growths, rashes, and lesions that could indicate cancer or other diseases. A dermatoscope, which is a handheld magnifying device, is used to reveal details of growths not visible to the naked eye. This will help the doctor see specific characteristics of growths which help to identify what they are. A screening will typically take around 10 minutes.
If a suspicious-looking growth is found during your screening, often a biopsy will be taken and sent to the lab that day. Lab results are received within 7-14 days, at which time you will be contacted regarding the outcome. If cancer is found, Dr. Taylor will have you return to our office for treatment or removal of the lesion. If the doctor does not see an immediate threat during your initial exam, skin lesions will be monitored over time.
Don’t Wait, Your Life Could Depend on It
Having a highly-skilled dermatologist like Dr. Brent Taylor can literally be a lifesaver. Dr. Taylor is experienced in detecting skin cancer at its earliest stages. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, affecting over 3.3 million people in the US every year. If you are one of those 3.3 million people, wouldn’t you want to know? Make your first appointment today by calling us at Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA.