The aim of this study was to assess infection control practices and their impact upon infectious complications in skin surgery conducted by private dermatologists. A prospective study was carried out by 73 volunteers belonging to the Surgical Group of the Société Française de Dermatologie over a period of three months. Data were collected for surgical procedures performed during this period, including the excision of all benign or malignant tumours, but excluding sebaceous cysts and pyodermas. A total of 3491 dermatological surgical procedures were included in the survey. Post-operative infections occurred in 67 patients (1.9%), with superficial suppuration accounting for 92.5% of surgical site infections. The incidence was higher in the excision group with a reconstructive procedure (4.3%) than in excisions alone (1.6%). Infection control precautions varied according to the site of procedure; multivariate analysis showed that haemorrhagic complications were an independent factor for infection in both types of surgical procedure. The male gender, immunosuppressive therapy and not wearing sterile gloves were independent factors for infections occurring following excisions with reconstruction. Not all of the procedures needed the use of a hospital theatre. It is clear that for excisions with a reconstructive procedure or for certain anatomical sites, such as the nose, there should be more emphasis upon infection control precautions. Further studies are needed to establish optimal guidelines for this kind of surgery.