Redness After Efudex Treatment

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Ren Says:

I have used Efudex twice over several years. I wonder what will help the redness that happens after the crust has peeled away? The affected area is upper lip and side of nose.

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Roy Says:

Hi Ren, have you finished taking the course of Efudex at this point? Medline Plus says "If you are using fluorouracil to treat actinic or solar keratoses, you should continue using it until the lesions start to peel off. This usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks. However, the lesions may not be completely healed until 1 or 2 months after you stop using fluorouracil." It also says that the redness is normal, except in cases of a severe red skin rash (which should be reported as a serious side effect). Would you consider your case severe?

As to treating the redness, you may be able to apply an over the counter cream or ointment, but you may want to get that cleared by your doc first just to rule out possible issues post-treatment. I tried an online drug interactions checker for the ingredient Fluorouracil and nothing came up, but that probably doesn't include OTC products. Plus in your specific case, you'd likely need to be selective as to what product(s) could help. If you do speak with your doctor can you please let me know what they say?

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Ren Says:

Re: Roy (# 1)

Yes, I'll let you know if I speak to my doctor about this. The scabs have almost gone so application is finished. Have only tried cortisone so far but will use trusty old Nivea after this.

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Roy Says:

I was thinking of suggesting OTC cortisone, as I've used it for other things successfully, but I was not comfortable mentioning it since I am not familiar if it would interact with the Efudex. Regardless, I hope it helps you and I'd be interested in knowing your progress. Wishing you a happy new year!

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Roy Says:

How are you doing Ren? I just came across a related page where someone has reported positive results using a combination treatment of Efudex with Dovonex. Might want to look into it and ask your doctor whether it could be an option if you need to go through this again down the road. I'd be curious to read more about Paul's experience.

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Don Says:

Re: Roy (# 3)

Greetings from north of the 49th. I am on my second treatment of efudex 5%. Previous was 12 years ago. I applied efudex 2x daily for 16 days, into the 'healing' stage. I get harsh red skin face, chin, forehead along with the blistering, peeling and pain. After washing areas / dry I wait as long as possible before adding moisturizer. I buy OTC product "Glaxal Base" moisturizing cream, by Wellspring Pharmaceutical Canada. Apply liberally as required to relieve itchy, dry tight skin. At day 21, 5 days post-treatment skin red, some relief on blisters & scabs, lots of peeling. It's like suffering a severe burn and skin has to go thru healing. No option to post pics here.

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Ren Says:

Re: Don (# 5)

Thanks for your helpful comments. I'm still a bit red but it's slowly getting better. Used cortisone and Nivea. Hard to say if it helped or if time is working its usual magic. Using a sunscreen certainly helps during the day - the others used night time.

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Don Says:

Re: Ren (# 6)

hi Ren, I stay inside mainly during treatment. I have tried noxema and nivea in the past but find they have other ingredients that irritate skin causing redness, and stings a bit on application.The glaxel base I use is the stuff pharmacists use as the base when making compound. Nothing added. I have also ordered another product which others have recommended. Will advise once a try it. I also have issues finding a nice sunscreen without to many added 'chemicals' / ingredients that irritate skin, can cause redness and some cause skin to breakout. I am presently researching La Roche-Posay 60 spf, ultra-light, Anthelios sunscreen.


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