Mohs on the Nose

Woes of Mohs

Posted on: June 8, 2014

I’m sorry to say, I have another BCC. This time, it’s on my forehead, right at the hairline. I had a small, red spot that looked like a pimple. Because it had been there a few months, and because it hadn’t changed, I saw my surgeon. I hoped it would only need to be frozen. He took one look and said it needed to biopsied. It was a long week of waiting for the results, but they came back positive.  If you’ve already needed Mohs, the chances of needing it again, elsewhere, are very high, so the results weren’t a total surprise.

Biopsied Spot

The Biopsied Spot

As I did with Mohs on the Nose, I’ll be blogging about the upcoming surgery and recovery. The new blog is called Woes of Mohs, and you can find it here.

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15 Responses to "Woes of Mohs"

You have handled this all like a champ. Thank you for blogging about this. I hate sunscreen because it always breaks my face out badly. Now I feel foolish.

Laura, it just goes to show that any little red spot can cause a whole lot of trouble. I found a great sunscreen company just last month. I ordered samples from them first, and l loved the products. Then I ordered full size bottles. They’re called Suntegrity Skincare. Here’s their link. Try them, their products are great! http://www.suntegrityskincare.com/

I had mohs two weeks ago- on the side of my nose so I have a scar from top of nose ,down the following of my cheek to just above my mouth. It’s healing well, just one part near the end of my nose where the skin has been moved the furthest is taking its time and the yellow gunge isn’t pleasant for anyone looking at me! I’ve been cleaning it off but as this is part of the healing should I leave it? I found your blog really helpful and positive when I was waiting for my treatment. Now it’s done I just want to do the right things to make it heal as best as possible.

Thank you for your nice comments. I can only tell you that I would leave the “yellow grunge” alone, as long as you’re sure it’s not infection. My husband had a surgery similar to yours for a spot of melanoma on his cheek. We couldn’t believe how the incision went under his eye and down his cheek; however, there’s no scarring, to speak of. Unless you know it’s there, you would never notice it. A good Mohs surgeon can truly perform miracles when it comes to reconstruction. I hope yours heals beautifully.

Thank you so much for this positive & informative blog. Just found out I have a squamous cell carcinoma on bridge of my nose & had basically written my obituary before finding this but now i think maybe i’ll survive. mohs scheduler should be phoning this week. I’m also worried about a different spot on the tip of my nose – too much googling has me convinced it’s a morpheaform bcc – and will see derm again for that in a few days. i’ll be reading and rereading this blog for sure – both the 2010 blog and this 2014 one. i hope you’re doing well in 2016 – your husband, too.

Thank you for your comments, and I’m glad you find my blogs helpful. I’m sure you’ve had your surgery by now, and I hope everything went as planned. I’ve found that, since my three Mohs surgeries, I watch my skin like a hawk. Even the tiniest flaking spot gives me a knot in my stomach. Unlike most surgeries, Mohs patients are likely to have other cancerous spots eventually. I was really disappointed when my surgeon told me, but it makes sense if you think about it. As I’ve mentioned to other posters, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you might have. I can respond privately, if you like. Oh, and both my husband and I are doing well. So far, no more cancerous spots. We hope that continues!

thanks for the reply, sapphire maiden! my mohs on nose did indeed go fine. it was a huge relief to get on the other side of it! immediately after, though, i noticed a couple of firm painful bumps on my scalp that i couldn’t see. the first time i showed them to my derm she liquid-nitrogened them, but when that didn’t do anything after a couple of weeks she biopsied them, leaving what felt like two craters in my scalp. it turns out the scalp bumps were pre-cancers, aka actinic keratoses (solar keratoses): on the good side, no scalp mohs necessary. on the bad side, the craters (biopsy wounds) have both developed huge scabs, despite my attempts during the first week at covering them with vaseline. so the skin woes continue: no way i can go to my haircutter until these scabs heal (it’s been three weeks now) since i don’t want him to re-open the wounds with his firm combing. if you or anyone reading this has any experience healing scalp wounds that’ve scabbed over – or even a sense of how long that might take – i’d love to hear from you. either way, thanks again for this forum 🙂 ps – re responding privately, would that be via email?

Glad your Mohs is behind you! And you’re not alone in having actinic keratosis. I had two spots on my scalp, one large and one small. My regular derm froze them last time I saw her. I’d say they’re 95% gone now. I didn’t have biopsies, so I’m afraid I have no idea how long yours will take to heal. That said, the spots need air to heal, so I’d stop using Vaseline and let them scab over. I also had a flaky patch in my eyebrows that, when biopsied, was diagnosed as AK. My derm recommended Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), so I had that done in May. It took care of the flakes, as well as other, minor flaky spots on my face. If I needed it again, I wouldn’t hesitate, because it was really no big deal. The payoff was well worth it. You can read about my experience here. Regarding private responses to your questions, I get an email when anyone comments on my blogs. The email contains the name and email address of the sender, so I can respond that way if you like. Take care of those biopsy spots, and you have my best wishes that you have no more skin cancers or AKs!

I am scheduled to go in for MORHS on the tip of my nose and have been so nervous..thinking about the worst ..anxiety attacks and all. Just read your experience and feel much better about it. I will be seeing a plastic surgeon to repair or reconstruct nose the next day. If the results of operation are to extreme he will schedule the reconstruction in an operating room under anesthesia..Could you breathe after this ..I am a bit claustrophobic as well. Thanks for sharing..you have been a big help.

Hi Patricia, I understand about having panic attacks when thinking about having Mohs. I had a couple, myself. I don’t know if I could have dealt with having the reconstruction the next day. Whatever you do, don’t look at the surgery site before your reconstruction appointment. I’m assuming your Mohs surgeon doesn’t do plastic surgery. Is that right? Many Mohs surgeons specialize in Mohs and only do that and reconstruction. I was lucky that mine was. To answer your question, yes, I could breathe afterward. There’s no reason to feel claustrophobic, so don’t worry about that. I’m glad my experience helped you. That was the main reason I did it. I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have, so don’t hesitate, ok? Good luck with your surgery. I’m sure it will be fine. Just keep in mind that you’ll be cancer-free afterward!

i’d never heard of photodynamic therapy, interesting! just read your pdt blog. i’m actually now thinking that what i’d thought were scabs are more likely recurrences of the AKs, almost 5 weeks (not 3; calendar doesn’t lie) post shave biopsies. frustrating to have things you can feel but not see – they’re in the middle of my part on the top of my head. i’m going to phone the derm tomorrow even though i’m kind of embarrassed to schedule an appt yet again when after my nose mohs she’d said “see you in 6 months.” if you could respond this time via email that’d be great, thanks 🙂

Thank you very very much for your very detailed blog, and especially for the pictures. I’m due to have Moh’s surgery in ten days, and I’m anticipating a result something like yours. My Infiltrating BCC is only visible to me in bright light, so none of my friends or family members think it’s anything to to get fussed about. I’m not panicking: I’m getting my head around what’s going to happen (with your very kind and positive help) and I will deal with it, the same way I dealt with multiple joint replacements. Your blog has been a huge help to me. Again, thank you. Wish me luck. 😉

I hope your surgery went well, and I hope the worst is over for you. Those first few days are hard, emotionally and physically. We have more in common than just Mohs surgery. I’ve also had multiple joint replacements. I now have a “six-pack,” both knees, both hips and both shoulders. It’s always something, right?

Have enjoyed reading your accounts of MOHS –well, maybe “enjoyed” is a bit overstated, since I’m scheduled for this procedure in early June. My last one was done in San Diego, soon after I’d moved there from Milwaukee. That was more than 25 years ago! Never had another problem, although I had two other biopsies that were benign.
Now I am back in the Midwest and, after only 6 months, a spot developed on my nose. It disappeared, then came back. Well, you know how that goes.
So a dermatologist took a biopsy (a “divot,” he called it, having watched golf the day before–and the term was appropriate for the size of the hole!) Since then a neighbor told me about the efficacy of Efudex, prescribed for a spot on her lip. Now I wish I’d tried it before having the biopsy! But too late– I’m on the medical assembly line and don’t have the nerve to jump off.

I tried Efudex on my first BCC, but I still ended up having to have Mohs. In my personal experience, it’s ok to use if you have the very beginning signs of BCC; you might be able to “head it off at the pass.” A couple of years ago, I had a spot above my lip that started peeling, so I immediately started treating it with Efudex, even before seeing my derm about it. At my next appointment, tho, I told him about it, and he said if the spot started peeling again, he wanted to biopsy it. So far, it’s never come back. My derm once told me Mohs was the “gold standard” when it comes to dealing with skin cancer, so keep that in mind as you go through treatment. I hope this will be your last encounter with skin cancer.

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