Electrodesiccation uses electric current delivered via a needle-shaped electrode to superheat the skin in pinpoint precise areas.

A round dull instrument orr a curette of varying sizes is used to scrape off cancer down to the dermis. The scraping is then paused while an electrosurgical device like a hyfrecator is administered. Electrocoagulation (electrodesiccation) is performed over the raw surgical ulcer to denature a layer of the dermis and the curette is used again over the surgical ulcer to remove the denatured dermis down to living tissue. In the case of skin cancers, the cautery and electrodesiccation is usually performed three times, or until the surgeon is confident that reasonable margins have been achieved.

It is a medical procedure commonly performed by dermatologists, surgeons, and general practitioners for the treatment of basal cell cancers and squamous cell cancers of the skin.