Scars after Second Intention Healing
01 October 2012 (online)
Second intention healing (SIH) is useful for many defects after skin cancer removal. SIH decreases intraoperative morbidity and reduces procedure costs. Granulating wounds are rarely infected, have minimal pain or bleeding, and care is simple. Location is the key determinant in cosmetic outcomes of SIH. Concavities of the face including the medial canthus and conchal bowl often heal imperceptibly. Defects on convex surfaces such as the nasal tip and malar cheek can heal poorly with depressed scars. Flat areas of the cheeks, forehead, and chin heal favorably but cosmesis can be unpredictable. These regions are often described by NEET (concavities of the nose, eyes, ears, and temple), NOCH (convexities of nose, oral lips, cheek, chin, and helix), and FAIR (flat areas of the forehead, antihelix of the ear, eyelids, and rest of the nose, lips, and cheeks). We review the limited literature describing SIH based on regional anatomy of the face. Complications of SIH include exuberant granulation tissue, hypopigmented or telangiectatic scars, and distortion of free lid margins. SIH should be an integral part of the surgeon's reconstructive algorithm after skin cancer removal.