Scalp lesions are growths, bumps, or sores that may itch, bleed, or cause the hair to fall out. A variety of conditions can cause lesions on the scalp. Since the lesion may cause you discomfort or be a sign of an underlying issue, it’s important to visit a surgical dermatology specialist. They may recommend Mohs surgery as a treatment option.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a skin cancer treatment. The procedure removes the cancerous tissue while preserving the healthy skin around it. Dermatologists achieve this by removing one thin layer of skin at a time until the cancerous tissue is gone. The entire procedure takes about four hours.
Mohs surgery has become a popular treatment because of its high cure rate. Dermatologists often recommend Mohs surgery for patients with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This is especially true if the cancer is present in an area with little tissue underneath (eye area, ear, scalp), is a large tumor, or is likely to return. They may also recommend it if procedures like surgical excisions were ineffective.
If you have a scalp growth that could be skin cancer or isn’t going away on its own, your dermatologist may suggest Mohs surgery to remove lesions. This may be true whether the lesion is cancerous or benign. Through Mohs surgery, the doctor can remove all of the problematic tissue without harming the skin around it. This precision can be key in preserving hair follicles and minimizing discomfort during healing. Keep in mind that surgery is often a last-resort treatment for scalp lesions, so your dermatologist may try other methods first.
The potential treatments for your scalp lesion will depend on the specific diagnosis. Lesions can be a result of dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, ringworm, lupus, skin cancer, and lice. Your dermatologist will diagnose your scalp condition, recommending an appropriate first course of treatment. This can include medicated shampoo, topical creams, or oral medication. They may also refer you to another specialist if you may have an underlying condition that’s causing lesions.
While most scalp issues are not a result of skin cancer, it’s still important to protect your skin from the sun. This is especially true if you have thin hair or are bald. Preventative methods include wearing a hat, applying sunscreen to the scalp, and limiting your time in the sun.
It’s also essential to see your dermatologist annually, or as often as they recommend, for skin cancer screenings. They will check your scalp and other parts of your body for concerning moles or lesions. Remember that early detection is key for preventing the spread of skin cancer, but you might not notice spots on your scalp on your own.
If you are concerned about a skin lesion on your scalp, contact the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists. The professionals at our surgical dermatology center are proud to offer Mohs surgery among our services. We are also equipped to offer a variety of non-surgical treatments for our patients. Our locations are in Carson, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Torrance, Downey, and Montebello, CA, so you can meet with a provider at an office near you.