If you were diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatologist may have recommended that you undergo a procedure known as mohs surgery. While your doctor will discuss post-operative care with you prior to your procedure, he or she may not include home remedies in the aftercare instructions. Here are three things you can do at home to enhance healing after your dermatological surgery:
To help promote healing after your surgery, consider incorporating more vitamin C-rich foods into your daily diet. Foods such as oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli can help fulfill your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, however, if you are deficient, or if you do not like the aforementioned foods, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin C supplement.
This nutrient plays an important role in collagen formation, healthy skin, and wound healing, and if your blood levels of vitamin C remain optimal, your surgical site may heal faster than normal. Make sure that you do not take large doses of vitamin C or any other supplement for that matter during your surgical recovery period. While vitamin C is considered safe, large dosages may lead to abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and kidney stones.
If you are a smoker, consider quitting or cutting down before you have your procedure. If you are nervous about your upcoming surgery and are unable to quit smoking because of this, try quitting or cutting down after your procedure. Cigarette smoking can harm your capillaries, and when this happens, circulation and blood flow can be impaired inside your surgical wound. This can delay healing and may even heighten your risk for developing an infection.
If you are struggling to quit smoking, talk to your physician who can recommend effective treatment options such as nicotine patches or gum, hospital-based support groups, or biofeedback. Maintaining a healthy diet, sleeping well, and getting enough exercise will help you cope with your nicotine cravings while you are trying to quit smoking.
Like vitamin C, dietary protein is instrumental in wound healing. After you have your surgery, you might be able to speed up the healing process by incorporating more lean meat, fish, legumes, and cheese into your meals. If you have a kidney disorder or another medical condition in which a high protein diet is contraindicated, talk to your health care provider before consuming large amounts of dietary protein.
If you will be undergoing mohs surgery, consider the above interventions. While you should always follow your doctor's post-operative instructions and not solely rely on home remedies, these simple strategies may help enhance the healing process while lowering your risk for infection or scarring.