Secondary Intention Healing

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When skin cancer is removed it can leave a defect-a hole or wound in the area where the skin cancer once existed. Depending on the location, depth, and size of the defect, surgical reconstruction may be necessary. At SCARS Center, our Mohs dermatologists and reconstructive surgeons work together to offer cosmetically sound outcomes after skin cancer cure.

About Secondary Intention Healing

Secondary intention healing is the natural healing of skin cancer defects. It may be the recommended option for very small defects in areas that would not be considered cosmetically sensitive, such as the arms, legs, or trunk, and it may be considered a viable choice for patients who are not surgical candidates due to health issues.


In some instances, secondary intention healing can produce excellent cosmetic results for skin cancer patients. In other cases, secondary intention healing can result in poor cosmetic outcomes, as the healing contracts the wound. This could cause unsightly retraction of the nasal rim, eyelid, lip, eyebrow, or ear.


Typically, secondary intention healing can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks. An experienced reconstructive surgeon can help a patient determine whether secondary intention healing is the right option for the best cosmetic outcome.

Need help understanding your skin cancer treatment?

At SCARS Center, our plastic surgeons and Mohs dermatologists work together to provide the most cosmetically sounds outcomes possible. If you would like a second opinion after a skin cancer diagnosis, or would like to be referred by your current dermatologist to SCARS Center, contact us today.

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