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Skin Cancer Update (& Best Sunscreen After Mohs Surgery)

Written by Erin Porter

I haven’t said much this past year regarding my skin cancer, but behind the scenes, I guess you could say almost four years later, I am still dealing with it.  Not with the skin cancer itself (which was basil cell carcinoma on my nose), but trying to fix the aftermath of Mohs surgery.  I will share with you what I have learned since.  As well as what can possibly save you from Mohs surgery (especially on the nose) in the future, and why I still have regrets yet feel grateful.

Read on, and I’ll share with you what has been happening with my “Mohs nose” behind the scenes, but I’ll also share which sunscreens I recommend as the best sunscreen after Mohs surgery.  They are not all created equal (some can cause cancer).  Wow!

First, just in case you are new here, I will share my shock when I was given the mirror in the doctors office after Mohs.  I went in for a simple dot on my nose and expected to walk out with a band-aid and move on with my life.  No scars, no obsessing about a big puffy spot that was left in the wake of surgery.  Those were not thoughts in my head, I would get in and get out.  That is not what happened and as mellow dramatic as it may sound, it was a bit traumatizing.  Mostly because I was not prepared for it.

Now is your chance to bounce off before seeing some semi graphic photos Mohs surgery on my nose.  I will also include my photodynamic therapy pictures.  More on that later.

Below: This was the size of the cancer spot and I have blurred out the photo as the site was pretty deep.  Now all of that space had to be filled in and reconstructed using flaps of skin from my forehead and check.

girl who is having mohs surgery done

These photos below are post Mohs surgery

after photo of mohs surgery on the nose

Beginning to look more normal.

girl recovering from Mohs surgery on the nose

In this photo below, I was healing great with the exception of that crazy puffiness happening on the left side.  I was told it was an unwanted complication that sometimes happens after Mohs on the nose.  I will start to get steroid shots to the nose for the next almost four years until it will finally STAY down.

After steroid shot #1.  If only it would have stayed this way.  Many more shots to come.

Now that it has healed, it’s time to rough it up again and sand the scars down.  Lots of swelling, bruising and black eyes again.

Enter Photodynamic therapy

Once that healed, I started photodynamic therapy, also known as pdt treatment or pdt therapy.  Getting photodynamic therapy on the face can help prevent skin cancer.   Speak to your dermatologist and see if photodynamic therapy is good for you if you are prone to skin cancer.

Below: Photodynamic therapy pictures (after pdt treatment),  To my surprise there wasn’t much peeling after photodynamic therapy.

photodynamic therapy pictures

For more information on pdt treatment and day by day photodynamic therapy recovery, read my post titled What is Photodynamic Therapy.

Skin Cancer Prevention

We all know to limit our time in the sun and wear sunscreen, but what about all of this we are learning about toxins in our sunscreens?  Toxins in our makeup?  Toxins that cause cancer!  After the Mohs surgery I really started digging around for both safe, non toxic, non carcinogenic sunscreen and makeup.  I’ll share with you what I found.

Best Sunscreens After Mohs Surgery

Sunscreen for the Face

  • Color Science Sunforgettable Brush-on Shield SPF 50!  This is my number one choice for my face!  I am a big baby when it comes to sunscreen because I absolutely hate it!  But I have to wear it so when I found this brush-on mineral powder the hateful relationship finally  came to an end.  It never leaves my purse and travels everywhere with me!

powder sunscreen brush

Why I love it?  It’s not greasy.  When you have to reapply during the day while running errands you are not putting a wet thick white cream (which mineral sunscreens usually are) over my makeup! It’s a powder that matches my skin color and it makes my complexion look even nicer after applied.  Color Science Sunforgettable brush-on active ingredients are Titanium Dioxide 22.5%; Zinc Oxide 22.5%


  • Nature’s Brand tinted SPF 30 sunscreen is another favorite sunscreen right now.  It is on the ticker side so it covers my Mohs surgery scars perfectly.  The tint and coverage is beautiful.  It contains no nano particles, no petroleum based ingredients, free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, and preservatives.


nature's brand sunscreen

Sunscreen for the Body

  • EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 is my favorite for my body!  Wonderful ingredients and so easy and fast to apply. PUT IN AFFILIATE LINK

Television:  I discuss Mohs surgery on my nose on TV’s Know the Cause

Best Hats for Sun Protection

Because we live in Florida, and also own a place at the beach, we cannot escape the constant sun.  Hats, glasses, and constant reapplication of sunscreen is the norm now.

Coolibar UPF 50 hats

They come in so many great styles! Here are my favorites and can be purchased cheaper on Amazon.

The Women’s Carolina Summer


Women’s Brighten Chlorine Resistant Bucket Hat


Possible Alternatives to Mohs Surgery

If I could go back in time I would not have rushed into Mohs surgery.  I would have tried ptd treatment, chemo cream, blue light, and other options first.  My cancer was quite deep so I am not sure they would have worked, but I would have tried them first.  I loved my Mohs surgeon and thought he did a wonderful job.  My choice of surgeons is something I would not change.

A Word to Those Facing Mohs Surgery

Since posting my Mohs surgery story years ago I have had so many people contact me post Mohs surgery on their nose.  They wonder if they will ever look normal again.  It may be hard to believe but yes, you will!  The nose especially swells and has the ability to distort the rest of the face but rest assured you will be okay.  My nose does not look exactly like it did before Mohs surgery but I am happy with it and know how much more devastating it could have been.   Wishing you all the best and feel free to reach out to me during the scary moments of healing for moral support!

Check out my 2nd edition book Eat Pray Get Well – now on Amazon, Kindle, MyStore, my shop, and some retail stores.  Subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel so you never miss the videos that aren’t on the website!

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Erin Porter
Erin Porter
I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed.

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About Erin

I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed. My book Eat Pray Get Well is about overcoming a tumultuous childhood, decades of chronic illness, and finding God in the process. Includes exclusive interviews with renowned Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Supermodel Carol Alt, Doug Kaufmann, and many more. Plus 55 gluten free recipes woven throughout. 

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