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Extremities

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While most skin cancers are due to sun exposure and the majority occur above the shoulders, skin cancers of the lower legs can pose their own particular problems.

Because of greater sun exposure on their legs, women can be more prone to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers on their legs. Greater awareness and therefore early detection of this cancer is essential to minimizing the morbidity and potential mortality of these cancers.

The lower legs are a uniquely difficult area to reconstruct after successful skin cancer removal. The skin is taut, under tension, and may have relatively decreased blood supply. There can also be swelling, thickening from varicose veins and venous insufficiency. The skin of the lower legs is also subject to the stresses and pulls of weight bearing and walking. Wounds on the lower legs often cannot be closed in a straight line fashion.

Other options include letting the wound heal or granulate on their own which sometimes can take many weeks or months.

The other most common option is the use of split thickness skin grafts from the thigh. The most appropriate options for you will be discussed at the time of your consultation.