Curettage is a dermatological procedure used for treating skin cancer and other superficial skin lesions. It involves scraping off the top layers of skin with a curette, a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument. This technique is commonly employed to remove certain types of skin cancers, warts, and noncancerous growths. The area is typically numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure to ensure patient comfort.

At Lupton Dermatology, we offer curettage as an effective treatment option for those dealing with skin cancers, warts, or noncancerous growths, providing expert care and personalized treatment plans.

Curettage Explained

Curettage is a medical procedure that involves the use of a curette, a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge, for the removal or biopsy of tissue. Curettage is often employed to address various skin conditions. The process typically entails scraping or scooping out tissue from the skin, serving both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

It may be used to remove benign growths such as warts or cysts or as part of a biopsy procedure to investigate suspicious or potentially cancerous skin lesions. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and is commonly performed on an outpatient basis. Dermatologists utilize curettage as a versatile tool for both diagnosing and treating a range of skin issues.

Benefits of Curettage

  • Benign Lesion Removal: Effectively removes benign skin issues like warts and cysts for cosmetic improvement.
  • Diagnostic Tool: Provides a sample for accurate diagnosis, aiding in identifying skin conditions.
  • Skin Cancer Treatment: Minimally invasive option for superficial skin cancers, offering simplicity and effectiveness resulting in minimal scarring.
  • Outpatient Convenience: Typically performed on an outpatient basis, curettage allows for a swift return home with minimal downtime.

How Lupton Dermatology in Greensboro, NC Can Help

The skilled practitioners at Lupton Dermatology use curettage for various skin conditions such as skin cancers, warts, or noncancerous growths. If you notice a suspicious or abnormal growth, schedule a consultation with one of our trusted dermatology providers who will examine your skin and create a unique treatment plan based on the individualized needs of your skin.

Curettage FAQs

Curettage means the removal of tissue or growth by scooping or scraping with a curette tool. This special technique is typically used to remove cancerous and non-cancerous lesions.

Curettage removes skin cancer by scraping away cancerous cells and destroying the remaining cells through the use of electrodesiccation (burning the area with an electric needle). In most cases, dermatologists perform curettage in many layers to remove the lesion. You can expect three cycles of curettage and electrodesiccation. 

This type of skin cancer treatment aims to completely eliminate any cancerous cells and is highly effective, with cure rates up to 95%.

Curettage is used primarily for small lesions or growths. This type of skin cancer treatment is not recommended for high-risk sites or aggressive forms of skin cancer. Similar to cryosurgery, curettage has the best cure rate for superficial basal cell or squamous carcinomas.

Curettage is most often performed on the trunk of the body. This type of treatment is not recommended for difficult sites, such as the eyelids, genitalia, lips and ears, or any cosmetically sensitive sites, as the procedure leaves a sizable, hypopigmented scar.

In most cases, patients can go home the same day as treatment. The procedure wound usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks to heal and leaves a scar, which is typically flat and round.

What to Expect at Your Curettage Appointment

At your curettage appointment, your dermatologist will begin with a consultation and examination to assess the skin lesion and determine the suitability of Curettage. They will thoroughly explain the procedure, including potential benefits and associated risks, and provide informed consent. If necessary, a topical anesthetic may be applied for comfort.

The Curettage process involves using a spoon-shaped instrument to scrape away the targeted skin lesion, with attention to complete removal. After the procedure, wound care instructions and any necessary dressing will be provided. You'll receive post-treatment guidelines, including activities to avoid and skincare routines.

How to Prepare for a Curettage

To prepare for your curettage appointment, attend a consultation with your dermatologist, follow any pre-procedure instructions, and inform them of allergies or medications. Wear comfortable clothing, especially if the lesion is in an accessible area. If a topical anesthetic is used, inquire about pre-application instructions. Use the consultation to ask questions and address concerns.

Planning for Recovery after Curettage

After the curettage procedure, your provider will put a dressing on the area. It’s important that this dressing stays on for 24 hours following the procedure and that it does not get wet. 

After 24 hours, it’s time to change the dressing. First, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Then, remove the old dressing and gently wash the site with soap and warm water. It’s crucial that you do not scrub or scratch the site. Next, pat the area dry, cover it with a thick ointment, and apply a bandage.

During your curettage recovery period, make sure to not submerge the area until the site is completely healed. Furthermore, avoid taking blood thinners, as the area may occasionally bleed after you leave the clinic.