Face and Scalp Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment: A Review of the Literature

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2019 Mar;27(1):22-27.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequent skin cancer and is characterized by slow growth, even if it can be locally invasive and rarely metastasizes. Many different phenotypic presentations and histopathologic subtypes have been described, and the current guidelines subdivide BCCs into low-risk (nodular and superficial) and high-risk subtypes (micronodular, infiltrating, and morphoeic BCC and those with squamous differentiation). Dermoscopy allows the identification of the features associated with these different subtypes. Compared with the low-risk forms of BCC, more aggressive ones tend to undergo more frequently incomplete surgical excision and perineural invasion, so the identification of these lesions before surgery is extremely important. The gold standard of treatment is surgery, particularly for the H region of the face and infiltrative lesions, but other options are available and selected according to many variables, including body area, age, comorbidities, and clinical, dermoscopic, and histopathological features of the lesion. Moreover, the possible complications of surgical approaches, namely healing defects, failure of skin grafts, and wound infection, should be considered. In this review we discuss the management of BCC localized on the face and scalp, according to the currently available treatment options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / therapy*
  • Facial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Facial Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Scalp*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*