Saturday, 27 October 2012

Thank you for Efudix Cream

Some of us have skin that responds to sunshine in nasty ways. Sun cancer, skin cancer. In our family we all have fair skin inherited from Celtic ancestry. And some other ancestry I guess. Not creamy skin that looks lovely; the other sort that ends up all speckled. We do not get melanomas thank goodness, but we get other skin problems. And lots of wrinkles.

Efudix cream is a wonderful invention. Is invention the correct word?

Here are some images and links about Efudix for those unfamiliar with it.

Efudix is a trade name. Sometimes the spelling is slightly different. Other brands exist using the same active ingredient.

This woman is using Efudix on her face to treat the sun cancers.
When I have done the whole face like this I felt sick.
Now I do just half the face one year and the other half the next year.
Efudix cream is a topical chemotherapy that is simple to use and removes solar keratoses. How does it work? It sort of burns the skin off, but it also treats much deeper in the skin. The active ingredient remains in the body for about three months. Our family uses it quite a lot.

I am proud to say I have just finished using Efudix on my left arm. I believe I have treated about three hundred solar keratoses this time. Hopefully most will be successful. I used the cream for two weeks, morning and evening. I stopped when I could not take any more and I thought the job was done. Now the dead crusts are falling off leaving red marks. Those marks will fade and my life will get better.

You can read her story on this site.
The treatments for skin cancers are much better now than they used to be. The research is making a huge difference. Thank you, thank you to the scientists who work in this field.

Is it all my fault? No. I do not play sport in the sun. I did as a child but I used protection even then. My mother brought home UV cream in the 1960s from the clinic in Brisbane. She insisted we use it. I do not sunbake or lounge around by the pool. I do not go fishing or go out on the water. My skin just reacts strongly to UV radiation.

Will I die from this? No. The type of keratoses and sun cancers in these pictures cause disfigurement not death. They can and frequently do trigger other cancers in the body. People die from those. This is not melanoma.

There are several other treatments for sun cancer that do not involve cutting lumps out and leaving horrible scars. A dermatologist is the person to ask about these. I have used other treatments.

Never simply treat sun cancers with something your friends talked about. Always get proper medical advice. Follow the instructions. If there is pain, get help.

Not my arm.
My arm was similar in the easy patches and worse in other areas.
It is the little exposures, like walking to get the mail every day, that in the end cause the worst damage. Use sun protection. Find a cream you can use every day that agrees with you. Every product does not suit every person. Wear a hat to protect the ears and scalp at least. Wear long sleeves and trousers whenever possible. You will be hot anyway, so it hardly matters. Be cautious around other sources of UV light.

I have written before about using Efudix, in July. Here is the link to that post.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your information & advise!

    After seeing my dermatologist yesterday, I was adviced to start using Efudix on my cheeks and forehead.
    I have to admit I am a bit scared as ithe skin looks so painful.


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