Cautery, also known as “electro-cautery” or “electrosurgery” is the process of destroying tissue with electricity and is widely used in modern surgery. The procedure is frequently used to stop bleeding of small vessels or for cutting through soft tissue.
Electro-cautery works by passing an electrical current through a small metal tip. This current sends heat into the tip, and then the tip is placed on to the area that needs to be treated. This will create a scab in the area.
Cautery is a procedure that can be done to treat a variety of lesions such as milia (also called a milk spot, a keratin-filled cyst), syringomas, facial warts, and skin tags. It is also commonly used to help with sebaceous hyperplasia, a benign enlargement of the oil glands.
Cautery can be done on most skin types and can be determined during your consultation with Dr. Sapra.
Before and After
Photos are for educational purposes only.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does cauterization hurt?
When you come to ICLS to have a skin lesion cauterized, a topical numbing cream will be applied to the area being treated and left on the skin for approximately 1 hour. If treating a few lesions an injectable local anesthetic may be done. This will help to diminish discomfort, which has been described as a moderate prickling/burning sensation. Treatment is well tolerated, but pain can vary from patient to patient.
How long does cauterization take to heal?
The area that is treated can be scabbed anywhere from 7-10 days up to 2 weeks.
What does cauterized mean?
Cautery works by passing an electrical current though a small metal tip. This current sends heat into the tip, and then the tip is placed on to the area that needs to be treated. This will make the area scab.
Aftercare and Recovery
A slight burning sensation can be felt after the procedure is done. An ice pack can be applied to help with this discomfort. The area that is treated can be scabbed anywhere from 7-10 days up to 2 weeks. The area should be washed with water and a mild soap, and then Fucidin ointment should be applied twice a day for 5 days. It is very important to wear a minimum of SPF 60 post treatment. Side effects typically involve swelling, redness and scabbing.