With your skin being the largest (and most exposed) body organ, it should come as no surprise to learn that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosis made each year. Treatment for skin cancer is often a minor surgical procedure that removes the affected skin cells and some surrounding healthy cells to try and prevent the cancer from spreading.
If your doctor has recommended the removal of a cancerous patch of skin, you may be worried about the scar this procedure will leave behind. Here are two types of foods that you can eat in order to help your skin heal faster and minimize scarring after your skin cancer surgery.
1. Lean Meat and Poultry
If you want to help boost your skin's ability to heal after a skin cancer surgical procedure, it can be beneficial to increase the amount of lean meat and poultry that you incorporate into your diet. These foods are rich in proteins that the body needs to help with the healing process.
Protein contributes to the repair of damaged tissue, but the repair process can cause a protein deficiency. Experts estimate that as much as 100 milligrams of protein can be lost each day from fluid leakage at a wound site.
Increasing your protein intake by eating more lean meat and poultry will help you give your body access to the protein it needs to heal quickly after skin cancer surgery, minimizing your risk of scarring.
2. Citrus Fruits and Juices
Getting your daily glass of orange or grapefruit juice becomes essential when trying to help your body heal from skin cancer surgery. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits and juices is vital to the production of collagen within the body.
The connective tissues around which new skin cells form, healing an incision with minimal scarring, is created by collagen. In the days following your skin cancer surgery, vitamin C levels could drop in your body due to the increased metabolic function required to manage the healing process.
Since the enzymes that create scar-minimizing collagen cannot function without adequate vitamin C, be sure that you are ingesting more citrus fruits and juices than normal if you want your skin cancer surgery incision to heal quickly.
Altering your diet to accommodate the healing process after you have a section of cancerous skin removed can be beneficial in helping you avoid scarring. To speed up the healing process, try eating more lean meat and poultry to increase protein levels, and be sure to ingest enough citrus fruits and juices to ensure adequate vitamin C stores are present throughout the healing process.