- To stop bleeding by cauterizing blood vessels
- To remove noncancerous growths
- To remove skin cancer, often combined with the use of a curette – a spoon-shaped instrument designed to scrape away abnormal skin cells
In the office, the area to be treated is cleaned with an alcohol wipe. If anesthesia is needed, a syringe topped by a very fine needle is used to inject lidocaine into the skin. The electrocautery device has a pen-like instrument with a metal probe at the tip. The metal portion is placed very close to the skin and a button pushed allowing electricity to flow and superheat the adjacent area of skin. If needed, a curette may be used afterwards to scrape the skin.
The wound should not be washed for the first 24–48 hours, to allow for initiation of proper healing. Thereafter, it can be cleansed with gentle soap and water. A Band-Aid® with white petrolatum or antibiotic ointment can be used on a daily basis. Depending on the wound size, depth, and location, it may take several weeks for it to completely heal.
- Recurrence of the lesion
- Pacemaker malfunction – Electrodesiccation is usually not recommended for patients with implanted electrical devices
- Liquid nitrogen
- Topical creams
- Surgical excision
- Mohs micrographic surgery
- Radiation therapy
- Laser therapy