Electrocautery is the burning of unwanted skin tags and moles. Tag removals via cautery or excision usually go very well. Post treatment scabs often heal with little to no issues but as with any treatment, there are risks involved. The following may occur with treatment:
1. DISCOMFORT - Some discomfort may be experienced during treatment. Local anesthetic will be injected to minimize pain.
2. WOUND HEALING - Treatment could result in swelling, blistering, crusting, scabbing, or flaking of the treated areas, which may require 1-3 weeks to heal. Once the surface has healed, it may be pink or sensitive to the sun for an additional 2-4, or longer in some patients.
3. BRUISING/SWELLING/INFECTION - Bruising of the treated area may occur. Additionally, there may be some swelling noted. Finally, skin infection is a possibility although rare, whenever a skin procedure is performed.
4. PIGMENT CHANGES (Skin Color) - During the healing process, there is a slight possibility that the treated area can become either lighter or darker in color compared to the surrounding skin. This is usually temporary, but, on a rare occasion, it may be permanent.
5. SCARRING - Scarring is a possibility whenever treatment involves disruption of the skin’s surface. To minimize the changes of scarring, it is IMPORTANT that you follow all post-treatment instructions carefully.
6. BLEEDING- Some bleeding may occur due to injection of local anesthetic and occasionally the cautery itself. Although rare, if any continuous bleeding occurs during treatment, treatment will cease immediately to address bleeding. Post treatment bleeding that won’t stop is very rare, but if it occurs, it must be reported and addressed immediately.
7. SKIN PATHOLOGY- Energy directed at skin lesions may potentially vaporize the lesion. Only clearly benign pigmented lesions can be treated. A suspicious lesion, especially moles, MUST BE CLEARED by your dermatologist PRIOR to treatment if the lesion has changed in color, size, and extremely elevated or is painful to the touch. Suspicious lesions that are not cleared by a dermatologist prior to treatment SHOULD NOT/WILL NOT be treated. Our facility may require paperwork to verify clearance of the lesions to be treated.
8. ALLERGIC REACTION- In rare cases, allergies to tape, local anesthetics (lidocaine, and skin cleansing products have been reported.
9. POOR RESULTS- Moles have a tendency to return. They rarely come back worse. If moles return, they’re usually smaller than they were prior to treatment. Large and/or very raised moles/lesions are more difficult to remove and may require a different type of removal treatment if they cannot be successfully removed by multiple sessions of cautery.
Post-Treatment Care until the thin scabs fall off:
Keep scab as dry as possible. To keep it clean, use rubber alcohol twice a day and Polysporin if there is redness around treated areas. Do not try to remove scab. It will come off naturally.
Do not apply heavy makeup for at least 24 hours, as it will disturb the treatment sites.
No tanning one week AFTER treatment, no sauna, swimming pool or hot tub for 2 weeks.
Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before and after treatment to protect your skin.
After the scab falls off you can use Vitamins A&D ointment to help skin to recover faster.
Compliance with the aftercare guidelines is crucial for healing, prevention of scaring, hyperpigmentation and hypo‐pigmentation.
Patient may need to return to the office in 10 days for a follow-up.