Skin and Beauty

Commonly Used Electrosurgeries in Various Dermatological Disorders

Written by Dr. Suvash Sahu and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Image: Commonly Used Electrosurgeries in Various Dermatological Disorders

Electrosurgery is a process of removing skin lesions with the use of electric current. The electric current may be direct or alternating high-frequency current. The electrosurgical unit is the most commonly used equipment in any dermatologist’s clinic. It provides a quick and cost-effective modality of treatment for a wide range of cutaneous lesions, both benign and malignant. Electrosurgery includes electrofulguration, electrodesiccation, electrocoagulation, and electrosection.


Electrosurgery is indicated for lesions like plane warts, Verruca vulgaris, subungual warts, papillomas, skin tags, molluscum contagiosum, seborrhoeic keratosis, fibromas, etc.


The contraindications of electrosurgery are as follows.

  1. Cardiac pacemakers.
  2. The presence of an active infection at the site.
  3. Bleeding disorders.
  4. Patient with a history of cardiac arrhythmias.

Equipment Needed:

The equipments required for electrosurgery are surgical diathermy unit, long cable with insulated handle, foot switch, and 220 volts AC power.


1) Electrofulguration:

This method uses minimal current, and usually, no local anesthesia is required. The current is applied on top of the lesion for a short time without the electrode touching the skin, and the crust formed is removed with the needle. The surrounding skin should be protected. An antibacterial cream should be rubbed on this crust twice daily. The crust falls off after a few days, leaving a healthy skin. The complications of this procedure are bleeding, skin burns, cardiac arrhythmias in predisposed patients and scarring in the case of deep or excessive destruction.

2) Electrodesiccation:

This method also has the same effects as fulguration. Desiccation involves actual touching the lesions with the electrodes, in this tissue destruction is deeper and includes superficial mummification and necrosis of cells. The advantages of this procedure are minimal scarring and effective hemostasis. And the disadvantages are the depth cannot be well controlled, surface damaged is within the boundaries of the lesions; hence recurrence is common.

Electrosurgery, when used scientifically, side effects such as scarring can be minimized, and recurrences of dermatological illness can be prevented.

For further information consult a dermatologist online -->

Last reviewed at: 02.Jan.2019



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