At Bay Oaks Dermatology, we believe in a two-fold approach for skin cancers:

  1. Aggressive treatment that minimizes scars
  2. Prevention of future skin cancers.

C&D (Curettage and Dessication)

With this technique, tumor cells are scraped away and then a short electric pulse is used to cauterize the remaining tumor cells. It is very effective for certain types of pre-cancers and skin cancers that have a low recurrence rate. Curettage and dessication is not effective in treating melanoma or invasive cancers.

Cryosurgery (CryoRx)

Croysurgery is especially effective in treating pre-cancerous lesions like actinic keratoses, as well as smaller basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. A liquid nitrogen spray freezes and destroys the tumor. In addition to liquid nitrogen, ethyl chloride may be used. Since this treatment option does not break the skin it frequently results in little scarring. One may see a slight discoloration or increase in color in the area that is treated.


If the tumor is large or if the skin cancer is aggressive, as is melanoma, an excision is necessary. Excisions are used to treat both new and recurring tumors. With surgical excisions a margin of healthy skin is cut around the cancerous region to ensure that the entire cancer is removed. Depending on the size and location of the excision it is often necessary to stitch up the open skin, or move skin to cover the area from nearby healthy skin, called a flap. Sometimes it may be necessary to take skin from another part of the body and relocate it to cover the wound. This technique promotes a healthy recovery of the surgical site. This is called a graft. If the excision is small and/or shallow there may not be a need for a closure. Allowing the wound to heal openly is called healing by second intention.

5-FU (Effudex®)

Effudex® is a topical cream used to treat actinic keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinomas. It is absorbed through the skin and bonds with the fast-growing cancer cells, leaving the healthy cells unharmed. The total course of treatment takes approximately two to three weeks. One of the benefits of this treatment is that it minimizes scarring, but the skin can become very raw during the treatment.

Imiquimod (Aldara™)

Aldara is a cream that is used to treat actinic keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. It can attack actinic keratoses and basal cell carcinomas by raising the body’s immune response to the cancer cells. It destroys these cells and allows for healthy and new skin to grow in its place. A typical treatment course lasts approximately 6 weeks or longer. The skin can look very sore and ray during the treatment but the final result is often quite acceptable.

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Bay Oaks Dermatology
17300 El Camino Real, Suite 103 | Houston (Clear Lake), TX 77058
(281) 480-7546 | Contact Us