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Curettage & cautery - Care and Side effects of using Curettage and Cautery

What is Curettage?

Curettage and electrosurgery is a skin surgery technique wherein the dermatologist scrapes off a skin lesion and applies heat to the skin surface.

What types of skin lesions can be treated by curettage?

Curettage is appropriate to cure and treat lesions where the part being scraped off the skin is softer than the surrounding skin or when there is a natural cleavage plain between the lesion and the surrounding normal tissue. The ailments which can be treated by curettage includes Seborrheic keratoses, Viral warts, Bowens disease (in situ squamous cell carcinoma), Pyogenic granuloma, Solar keratoses, Basal cell carcinomas, Keratoacanthoma, Skin tags.

How to take care after skin curettage?

Generally your wound may be tender 1-2 hours after the curettage as the local anaesthetic wears off. Follow these tips to reduce the chances of infection:

  • If there is any bleeding, press on the wound firmly with a folded towel without looking at it for 20 minutes. If it is still bleeding after this time, seek medical attention.
  • Leave the dressing in place for 24 hours or as advised by your dermatologist. Avoid strenuous exertion and stretching of the area.
  • Keep the wound dry for 48 hours. You can then gently wash and dry the wound.
  • If the wound becomes red or very painful, consult your doctor. There are no stitches to remove after curettage. The wound from curettage will take approximately 2-3 weeks to heal over.
  • The scar will initially be red and raised but usually reduces in colour and size over several months.

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