Your Child's Recovery
Skin lesion removal is a procedure or surgery to remove growths on the skin. There are many ways the doctor could have done this.
After the procedure, your child should not have much pain. But some soreness, swelling, or bruising is normal. The doctor may recommend over-the-counter medicines to help with any discomfort. Most children can return to their normal routine the same day of their procedure.
How quickly the wound heals depends on the size of the wound and the type of procedure your child had. Most wounds take 1 to 3 weeks to heal. If your child had laser surgery, the skin may change color and then slowly return to its normal color.
Your child may need only a bandage. Or your child may need stitches. If your child has stitches, the doctor will probably remove them 5 to 14 days later. If your child has the type of stitches that dissolve, they don't have to be removed. They will disappear on their own.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for your child at home?
- For the first few days, try to help your child not to bump or knock the wound.
- Depending on where the wound is, your child may need to avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks after the procedure or until your doctor says it is okay.
- If your child wears makeup and had a lesion removed from the face, your child should not use makeup near the wound until the stitches are taken out.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for your child to shower, bathe, or swim.
- Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart any medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
- Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Do not give your child two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
- If your doctor told you how to care for your child's incision, follow your doctor's instructions. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
- Keep the wound bandaged and dry for the first day.
- After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the wound with clean water 2 times a day. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
- You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
- Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
- If your child has stitches, you may get other instructions. Your child will have to return to have the stitches removed.
- If a scab forms, do not pull it off. Let it fall off on its own. Wounds heal faster if no scab forms. Washing the area every day and using the petroleum jelly will help prevent a scab from forming.
- If the wound bleeds, put direct pressure on it with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops.
- If your child had a growth "frozen" off, your child may get a blister. Do not break it. Let it dry up on its own. It is common for the blister to fill with blood. You do not need to do anything about this, but if your child says that it is painful, call your doctor.
- Protect your child's skin from the sun. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply it several times a day.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the incision.
- Pus draining from the incision.
- A fever.
- Your child has bleeding that won't stop.
- Your child has pain that does not get better after taking pain medicine.
- Your child has loose stitches, or the incision comes open.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health. Be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.
Where can you learn more?
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