Self-Care: Treat your Precancers at Home During Quarantine- Kristin Scord PA-C

While quarantine is difficult for a number of reasons, it’s a great time to finally treat precancers on your skin!
Actinic keratoses are spots, patches and lesions that are precancerous. They are a result of damage to the skin from sun exposure. This exposure may have been from childhood sunburns or long exposures to the outdoors due to work or recreation.
Luckily there is a treatment for actinic keratoses that you can do in the comfort of your own home during quarantine!
What it is: 5-Fluorouracil is a topical cytotoxic or chemotherapeutic cream classified as an “anti-metabolite” that helps treat certain superficial skin cancers and precancerous lesions on the skin. Other common names for it are Efudex or 5-FU.
What it does: 5-Fluorouracil causes the death of cells of the skin that are growing fastest and replicating most quickly. Actinic keratoses are sun-damaged cells which are associated with those abnormal skin lesions, thus eradicating them.
What is the treatment: The treatment is a topical cream applied easily at home to the area determined to be treated by your provider. This is done typically 1-2 times daily. Treatment duration is usually 2-8 weeks, also which may vary based on severity and location of treatment. The cream is applied until a reaction occurs, showing that the treatment is working. The treatment is continued for the duration the provider recommends for you and then simply discontinued.
What to expect: The expected outcome is essentially to allow for the treatment reaction to occur — this presents as localized irritation with increased redness, flaking and scaling and may have some swelling and tenderness.
5-Fluorouracil is a prescription cream. Contact our office to find out if it’s right for you. We are now offering both in-office and virtual visits. Call to schedule your appointment (949) 706-7886 or visit our website to register for a virtual visit.

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