It’s been estimated that the American public spends more than $12-billion dollars each year on procedures that change, alter and enhance their looks. Physical appearance is such an important component of daily life that a nip here and a tuck there play an important part in the way many people feel about themselves.
A February literature review from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania stated that scars resulting from skin cancer surgeries, on areas such as the head and the neck, can alter the psychosocial well-being of a person. In fact, the psychosocial impact of scarring resulting from scan cancer treatments impacts patients regardless of their age and gender. (1)
One technique being employed by doctors to reduce the visibility of scars resulting from skin cancer is the Mohs technique. This medical procedure is a micrographic form of skin cancer removal utilized in cosmetically sensitive areas like the face and hands. The Mohs technique allows doctors to pinpoint the cancer and remove a small amount of normal skin that surrounds the cancer. The end result can be virtually unnoticeable scars following surgery.
According to Joseph F. Sobanko, MD, director of Dermatologic Surgery Education, and an assistant professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the way patients feel about themselves can be greatly influenced by their final cosmetic look after surgery.
According to Sobanko, “What we’re learning now is that these scars are much more than skin deep, and given these possible repercussions, it’s vital that surgeons be able to provide patients with advanced treatment options to limit and avoid visible scarring.” (2)
While it’s sometimes hard to implement this practice in daily life, it’s important not to judge a person solely on their physical appearance. The scars on their outer appearance might be nothing compared to the scars they are feeling inside.