Skin Cancer Support Group

If you or a loved one has skin cancer, this is the community to discuss your experience, find support, and meet others going through the same. Skin cancer is a malignant growth on the skin, which can have many causes, including repeated severe sunburns or long-term exposure to the sun. Skin cancer generally develops in the outermost layer of skin so a tumor is usually clearly visible.

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How long does skin take to recover from Efudix?

I've recently treated my nose with Efudix (or Efudex,
Adrucil, Carac or Fluoroplex as its also known) as a follow-up treatment after having a Basal Cell Carcinoma removed. Luckily, the treatment which was a little unpleasant (but could have been an awful lot worse) is now behind me). However, my nose is still ever so slightly pink and even more so when I get hot. I was told it might take some time for my skin to return to normal but wasn't expecting it to take quite this long. If you've used Efudix, can you give me an indication of of how long its likely to take to fully recover please? Thanks in anticipation. Lisa

Replies

mads1959
mads1959

Hi Lisa , I have not used this treatment so I can't help you
What does it do ? Is it a scar reducing cream ?
I am 11 weeks into recovery from a BCC removal where a skin graft was used .
Some one else from the group will jump in to help if they can .
Good luck in your recovery .
Gail
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for your message Gail. Apparently, Efudix detects and kills any pre-cancerous (invisible) cells. So, my dermatologist recommended that I use it on my entire nose once my Basal Cell wound had healed; to avoid any pre-cancerous cells potentially developing into BCCs etc.

When I had my BCC removed initially, my consultant thought that I might have to have a skin graft but in the end I was lucky and it wasn't neccesary. I hope your recovery is going well. All the very best.

Lisa
p.s. am doing something wrong and haven't been unable to upload a profile photo so apologies for appearing anonymous.
mads1959
mads1959

How long into your healing process before this cream was recommended ? How is the wound looking now ?
Perhaps its because I am in the UK but it has never been mentioned . I like the sound of this cream ,I will have to ask my derm about it . Does it harm healthy skin if no pre cancer is present ?
Sorry to ask so many questions ..as you will find out I do tend to want to know so much ....lol I'm not nosey honest !
I have had a few pre-cancerous leisions removed from my calf and cheek ,but they were frozen off , I also had 1 SCC removed from my shoulder in an excision biopsy .
Best wishes in your recovery Lisa
Gail
deleted_user
deleted_user

Gail. My dermatologist recommended Efudix immediately after my scar had healed (about 6-7 weeks). However, it wasn't essential that I started it immediately - because of the potential effects the cream can have, its recommended that you use it when you have a bit of 'down time' (as my dermatologist said to me, 'you won't want to have much of a social life once the cream takes hold!). Essentially, it was recommended to me because my dermatologist suspected further, presently 'invisible' (pre-cancerous), sun damage to my nose which Efudix would detect and eradicate.

Apparently, Efudix (or Fluorouracil to give it its medical name), only attacks pre-cancerous cells and leaves health cells untouched. Though, it can cause redenning of surrounding skin: I'm not sure whether the fact that my entire nose took on a burnt looking appearance meant that the cream detected pre-cancerous cells on my whole nose or whether this was just a side effect (a question I'm going to ask my dermatologist when I see him for follow-up next month).

Maybe have a chat with your dermatologist about Efudix and see if he or she thinks is appropriate for you (it may well not be - it may be that it was recommended to me because my BCC was removed from Mohs and was on my face?). I live in the UK too so is clearly used here as well as in the US etc. If it is recommended, I would suggest reading up on it beforehand - the patient information leaflet that came with it is pretty scarey in terms of its expected effects and potential side effects. Like you, I always have loads of questions and want to be fully armed before I embark on anything like this (I actually delayed my treatment for a couple of weeks whilst I scoured the internet to find out more). You'll find quite a number of sites where others share their experiences of using the cream - you'll mostly find people talking about EfudEx with an 'e,' as is also branded as such. Be prepared for some pretty horrific images because the more sun damage you have, the more aggressive the Efudix results are! I'm lucky that I only had to treat my nose - whereas others have to treat much larger areas - and its this that made me decide to capture my experiences on a blog. I did this in the hope that the effects would be less 'dramatic' and, I'm pleased to say that they were. If of interest, you can see how it affected me at http://efudixandme.wordpress.com/. I take some comfort from the fact that I used the cream, knowing that it should have killed off any pre-cancerous cells.

Worth bearing in mind that the cost of a private prescription for Efudix is significantly higher than for an NHS prescription. So, worth visiting your doctor if a private dermatologist prescribes it to you!

I hope your skin graft recovering is going well. Take care.

Lisa
deraming
deraming

It is chemo in the form of cream,not a scar reducing cream, the liquid form called 5FU is used for diferent cancers.

One has to avoid exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing,sun glasses, because skin becames more sensitive to sunlight.
Side effects are several commun to any chemo.
In the US is used for precancer actinic keratoses lesions and superficial BCC.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi, thanks. It's used to treat Actinic Keratoses in the UK as well. I was warned about exposure to sunlight when I was using the ointment - luckily, not too much of an issue at this time of year in the UK but I did make sure I wore a hat outside when using it. Have you used Efudix/Fluourouracil yourself? If so, would be interested to know how long it took your skin to recover.

Thanks again.

Lisa
deraming
deraming

I had 5 FU with other chemo for breast cancer,a slow drip. 9 treatments.
No I would not use it and also it was not advised by my onco dermatologist, because it treats superficially, and I wanted my BCC removed with cleat margins.I do not have sun damage skin, because of my chemo, I had avoided sun and was very cautious,well it did not work.
But it seems that works well with precancer lesions and sun damage skin.
Also even if it is not sunny one has to protect from the UV rays.
My doctor thinks that living in the mountains for a year, even with protection, made it posible to get BCC,that the ozone layers are so damaged that causes skin cancer.
deleted_user
deleted_user

It sounds as though you've gone through a great deal, my heart goes out to you. And I can understand why you didn't want to use Efudix. My BCC was removed by Mohs micro-graphic surgery to remove all margins before I used Efudix as a follow-up to treat any pre-cancerous cells on my nose.

I also take your point re. UV damage even when not sunny and would always advocate using protection (I use a sun screen daily). I've never been a great sun worshipper and am, like you, one of the unlucky ones I suppose.

Best wishes.

Lisa