How Well Do Skin Grafts Match From Inner Ear to Nose?

I will be having Mohs surgery next week, for two basal cell areas on the right side of my nose. I have fair skin that tends to be reddish on my face (Irish complexion, rosacea) and am concerned that a skin graft from somewhere else won't match. The surgeon said that skin from the inner ear can match the skin on the nose. What have you found to be the case?

Doctor Answers 7

Skin graft for nose repair

Skin grafts can be very good at matching nose skin if chosen from the correct location. The inner ear or "concha" can be useful for nose tips since it may have similar pore appearance due to glands called sebaceous glands on the nose and ear. Other areas behind and in front of the ear can also be used but the skin color and texture and thickness match are critical.  If you are with a fellowship trained Mohs surgeon, they will know how to best repair your nose after the cancer is removed.

Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Skin grafting for nose after Mohs surgery

Many different criteria are taken into consideration by the Mohs surgeon in determining the best donor site for a skin graft.  These include:  color, texture, pore size, thickness, and presence of lesions or hair.  The skin in the inner ear (known as the conchal bowl) is a very good match to the skin of the nostril.  They have similar color, texture, and pore size which make for an excellent match.

M. Christine Lee, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Skin grafts on the nose following Mohs surgery

Skin grafts are a reasonable alternative for reconstruction of a surgical defect that remains after removing a skin cancer. Although the match in color is never perfect, most often , if the graft is harvested from a donor area that appears to closely match the recipient area's surrounding tone and color, the results will be excellent. You should rely on your surgeon to choose the best donor site.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Skin grafts work well for many nasal Mohs defects.

Full-thickness skin grafts can be a great option for reconstruction of nasal Mohs defects. They often require dermabrasion ("sanding" of the skin graft and surrounding skin) to help them blend in optimally.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Sking graft for nostril after Mohs surgery

Skin grafts and flaps are commonly done for reconstruction of nostrils. A graft is never a perfect match but doesn't change the surrounding anatomy as a flap from neighboring skin can do. Even if a patch of skin were taken from the other nostril (no one would do this), skin grafts change color and texture because they grow a new blood supply.with makeup skin grafts can look very good, and the conchal bowl of the ear provides a good match for many nostril defects provided that the hole is not too deep as the skin in the bowl of the ear is thin but its oil glands give a more similar texture than other grafts.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Conchal grafts are reasonable matches for the nose

Grafts from the concha (the bowl part of your ear) can match the sebaceous nature of a nose well.  If you have two cancers on the side of your nose, you may want to talk to your Mohs surgeon before deciding on a graft.  Make sure your Mohs surgeon is fellowship trained.  A flap may be a better alternative to a graft and this uses adjacent skin which matches the nose better. 

Brent Spencer, MD
Frisco Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Matchin skin for skin grafting

skin from the inner ear/ around the ear and neck make good matches for facial skin grafts. Your Mohs surgeon will make the decision on the site of donor skin depending on the size of the defect and the color/match of the surrounding skin.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.