SHAVE EXCISION WOUND CARE ADVICE

If you have just received treatment to remove a skin lesion by shaving off the surface layers of the skin (shave excision) then your wound will normally heal in 2-3 weeks and you can look after the area by following the guidelines below.

Please apply Vaseline regularly to the wound until it heals. 

EXERCISE

You should rest after your operation for 24 hours unless instructed otherwise. Avoid activities like shopping, cycling, and dog walking. Keep your dressing in place and keep the wound dry during this time.

WOUND CARE

The wound following a shave excision is similar to a deep graze. You may need to clean the wound using warm water and cotton ear buds. Do not pick off any scab as this may increase the risk of scar formation. Apply Vaseline to keep the wound moist. This may be repeated three to four times daily to help produce the best cosmetic result.

PAIN

Take Paracetamol if your wound is painful. If this fails to ease the pain, try taking some Brufen (Ibuprofen). Avoid Aspirin as this can increase the risk of bleeding.

BLEEDING

It is normal to expect some oozing of blood from the wound. If bleeding occurs, apply constant pressure for 15 minutes. It should eventually stop. It is also extremely important that you rest as this will help to keep your blood pressure down.

INFECTION

Open wounds produced by shave excision may develop a yellow base, which is the natural healing process. Wound infection is uncommon and does not normally require any treatment. Rarely, redness may develop around the wound and this may produce pain. If this occurs, you may need to see your practice nurse or GP to check that it is not infected.

SCARRING

The vast majority of patients (>80%) will be satisfied by the cosmetic result after a shave excision. Some may be disappointed and it is important to be aware that surgery may produce a scar that is worse than the original skin lesion. A number of problems can occur including loss of colour in the skin (hypopigmentation), dark re-pigmentation at the base of the wound, a depressed scar, and a raised scar (keloid).