Efudex is a topical treatment for precancerous solar or actinic keratosis. Treatment with Efudex prevents actinic keratosis from turning into skin cancer cells. During treatment with Efudex, precancerous lesions are brought to the surface of the skin where healing can take place. The precancerous lesions that appear become very red, sore and unsightly. Here are a few tips to help you use skin cancer treatment Efudex effectively.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- 6-10 Weeks
- Efudex Cream
- Nonmetal Applicator
- Medical Gloves
- Steroid Cream
- Hypo-allergenic Makeup
Wash the affected area. Before applying Efudex make sure the affected area is clean and dry. Wash the area gently with a mild soap. Removing excess oil helps the cream to completely absorb into the skin.
Apply Efudex. Apply a small amount to the affected area once or twice daily as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid your eyes and sensitive tissue inside the nose and mouth. Use only enough cream to cover the lesions.
Wash your hands. It's very important to wash your hands thoroughly after applying Efudex. Some patients choose to use a nonmetal applicator or wear medical gloves, although this is not necessary.
Use a steroid cream. After the first 2 to 4 weeks of treatment, inflamed lesions will begin to surface. If the pain becomes too intense, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to help sooth the irritation.
Complete the treatment. Even though the red, crusty stage of the treatment can be uncomfortable, it's important to continue the therapy. The length of treatment will vary according to the severity of the skin cancer. The average treatment length is 4 to 8 weeks.
Heal. After the treatment is complete, it takes about two weeks for the lesions to heal. During this time new skin will begin to grow into the treatment area. Continue to use steroid cream if necessary to aid the healing process and minimise irritation.
Tips and warnings
- If possible, try to schedule your treatment during a time when you can stay at home. Going out in public during the worst part of the treatment can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable.
- If you must go out during the treatment you can use a bit of hypoallergenic make-up. Make-up with a green tint works well to cover the redness of the lesions.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Sun exposure intensifies the effects of Efudex making it unbearable. If possible, complete your Efudex skin cancer treatment in the fall and winter months.
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