Skin cancer

A place for people affected by any type of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Skin graft shock

Posted by

Hi everyone

Had dressings removed from bcc on nose removal and skin graft last week and I have to be honest when I say I got such a shock.  I had prepared for the surgery and the week of dressings but I failed to consider the after that which I think contributed to the outright fear I've been feeling.  It's a week on now and after I managed to get assured from the surgeon that its healing ok and feeling much better for the most part.  I'm still covering it up except at night because I'm afraid to put my glasses straight on it.  Can anyone tell me how long the scab lasts. I'm afraid to go near it except with just water because I was told to keep it dry . I'm a bit afraid ish of what's underneath it aswell....will I get another huge shock.  Thanks guys for any advice.

Posted by

Hi and a very warm welcome to the online community

I haven't had a skin graft so don't have the experience you're looking for but I noticed that no one had come forward yet to tell you about their experiences with a skin graft. By responding to you it will 'bump' your post back to the top of the page where it'll hopefully be seen by someone who's had this done recently.

While you're waiting for replies you could use the search bar in the group to look for previous posts on this topic. If you type in 'graft' it should bring up lots for you to look at and you could then respond to any where you feel the poster might be able to help you.

When you have a minute it would be really useful if could pop something about your journey so far into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.


 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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Posted by

Hi Tesso2019,

The whole process can be a real rollercoaster, just as you think you’ve coped well with one part and the worst is over along comes another worry. I also had a bcc removed from the side of my nose and a skin graft some 5 weeks ago now. Initially I had a pressure bolster over the graft for 13 days so couldn’t actually see what was lurking underneath. I stupidly thought the bolster was a lot larger than the hole underneath but soon found out I was wrong on that one! My graft was taken from my neck and wasn’t covered so that was clear to see and black, blue, purple...pretty much every colour you could imagine but that’s healing over nicely. 
I was told not to get the graft area wet when the bolster was on but to apply antibiotic cream around it and then it was removed after 13 days. Nothing prepared me for what was underneath and the huge hole that faced me when I looked in the mirror. The surgeon did say that it would gradually lift out but it had been pressed in for nearly 2 weeks to allow the graft to take. I was told not to cover it at all as it needed to breath now to heal. I was told to gently pat it with cooled boiled water and continue putting antibiotic cream on it and when that ran out to use Vaseline. It’s now just over 5 weeks and all scabs are off, I’m allowed to get it wet and although it still very much looks like a random piece stuck on my nose, it is much less conspicuous than it was and it is filling out now too. Not sure how long it will take to look more pink and I’ve been told I may need a further op as they had to take very close to the rim of my nose away but things do improve honestly.

Posted by

Thank you Murphy1965 for your reply.  It is good to hear that after 5 weeks your scab is gone and that you are noticing improvements.  I believe over about six months it should blend in.  Isn't it funny the slight differences in treatment. My dressing on for one week and told to cover for another week. I can shower now which is amazing but otherwise not to put anything on it for six weeks.  I started going around it last nite with e45 cream as the dryness at this stage is severe. 

It is so helpful to lnow how others felt when dressing was removed. Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

Posted by

Thank you Latchbrook

I have updated my profile now

Thank you for the warm message.

Posted by

Hi Tesso2019,

I would suggest that you contact your doctor again to double check the recommendation to not put anything on the graft area. I have had 4 skin grafts and as soon as the dressing was off was told to use sun cream during the day and to always hydrate the area with a good face cream as the skin does not have the same oil glands as normal skin.

I too found the moment my dressing was removed very distressing. But it does get better every day, I promise

Best wishes


Posted by

Hi Miranda 

Thank you for your advice

I am due to see my doctor soon so will ask him then. I will have a lot to say including providing patients with detailed information of what to expect, colours, scab and healing.  Left to my own imagination was the scariest part of this.

I noticed this morning that a teeny bit of my scab had started to loosen so am feeling a lot better bout it now.  I can see the end as such.

I am sorry to hear you have had four of them done as I found this whole experience a lot more difficult than I imagined and dont think it would be any easier to repeat.  

Thanks again for your advice