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Electrodesiccation & Curettage (also called EDC or ED&C) is a procedure used to remove skin cancer. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are types of cancer in which abnormal skin cells grow out of control. Most cases of these types of cancer can be cured if they are found and removed early. If the cancer is not completely removed, it may come back.

A local anesthetic is injected, and then the top layers of skin with the abnormal tissue is scraped off with a special tool called a curette. The area is then heated with an electric current through a hot needle (electrosurgery) to help control bleeding and destroy any cancer cells that remain. This process is usually repeated for 2-3 rounds if the growth we are treating is cancerous. Your provider will scrape a little beyond the edge of the cancer to help remove all the cancer cells. The wound is then covered with ointment and a bandage. A scab will form over the area. The wound may take 3 to 6 weeks to heal, depending on the size of the area treated. Good wound care may help the scar fade with time.

Recovery time typically is minimal. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for your wound to heal completely; 2-3 months to completely heal on the lower extremities. You may take Tylenol for pain if needed and not otherwise contraindicated. 

During normal healing of this type of wound you can expect to see a yellowish center with a red surrounding edge. This area will slowly decrease in size as your wound heals until it is completely healed over. The resulting scar will be round and either pink/red, white or purple (on the lower extremities).

Initially some oozing from the site is normal. The wound is healed when there is no longer a crust on the site or drainage on the bandage.

For more information on How to care for your ED&C Site:ED&C AfterCare Instructions