User Reviews for Efudex to treat Actinic Keratosis
Efudex has an average rating of 7.5 out of 10 from a total of 38 reviews for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis. 66% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 18% reported a negative experience.
Reviews for Efudex
"I am a 70 year old male who suffers from Actinick Keratosis from exposure to the harsh rays of the sun. Efudex is a fantastic product. Does exactly what is claimed. Make sure that you wash your hands completely after each application. Do not get it on your lips or you will experience great discomfort, (cracked and bleeding lips). Once you have completed the process (twice a day for 21 days), use Hydroval Cream 0.2% to assist in the healing process (works great)."
"I am a 60 year old with very fair skin and blue eyes who grew up at the beach. I was regularly burned to a blister stage every year. I had many keratosis burned off from age 30 to 50. Finally advised to use Efudex. I have completed treatments on my face 5 times now over the course of these 10 years. I have an unusually mild reaction each time. In fact, I have to use it for 40 days to get the full benefit. So, you never know how your own skin will react. The dermatologists have been amazed at the length of time it takes me to get a reaction. But for the chest area, the reaction is incredibly painful, red, and fast. Maybe the constant freezing of those places on my face helped more than I know? In any case, Maybe it could be recommended to try a small area before using on the entire face. The end results are very good and I would not let fear keep you from trying this."
"I so appreciate all your comments. I am day 21 of Efudex and my GP wants me to keep going another week. I am applying to my nose, hands and forearms. My nose is a beacon as is the area around it. Thank goodness for COVID isolation as it couldn’t be happening at a better time. I was going to stop today but after reading everyone’s experience I will keep going for another week. Thank you"
"Growing up at the Jersey Shore and summers spent at Fl Beaches, I fell in love with the warmth of the sun, and a healthy tan. At 55, the sun made my chest bubble up, and my legs reverse tan. It is no surprise that I had actinic keratosis multiplying fast. I was prescribed Efudex 5% for my chest, neck and face. I had no idea it was topical Chemo. What? I googled everything Efudux, bought Aveeno, vanicreme, Aquaphor, asked for anxiety med for my mounting fears and took a personal leave from work. Its Day 13, saw Dr., I'm done. I did look beat up. In the afternoon insane itching.. tap tap. Many more dead lesions, surface and crust up. I'm using cortizone, and aquaphor on the corners and for lesions around my lips. I will be doing this for years to come peeling back the many layers of damage. It has not been as bad as it was for others. It's uncomfortable yet tolerable, and much better than the alternative. The knife or Cancer. Oddly, I feel healthier and fortunate to be given this chance."
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"After years of sun damage, my whole face lit up like a Christmas tree full of red lights within 1 week of twice daily application. Shaving: No problem. Use a sharp razor and light pressure with a mild gel cream Washing: Try Simple Water Boost Micellar facial gel wash. Great stuff. cleans your face and does not leave it dry OR oily. Does not irritate the burning skin. Still use it every day to clean my face. Lubrication: Try Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel. Not cheap, but you don't need much. Worked great, no greasy feeling. Used a chilled aloe mask at night during last week. Timeline: Should be able to finish in 3 weeks of twice daily. Still pretty bad for a week after treatment with first 2 layers of skin dried up and peeled away. Had another 2 weeks of peelings. After that, skin was super smooth but still red in some areas. Took another month for most of that to fade away. Definitely recommend using Efudex. It's obviously not fun, but produces great results."
"I am grateful for Efudex, although the treatment is quite difficult, because it is effective, comprehensive and empowering! Skin cancer surgeries are another kind of difficult I hope to avoid! I’ve used Efudex three times on my face...the first two weeks are the easiest, the second two are more challenging. Plan to stay at home week 4 and the first week of healing. If you are using around your mouth, it will be hard to comfortably eat and drink. Eat soft foods and use a straw. With supervision, my doctor directed me to use Efudex on my lips, which was the most challenging of all applications! Because lips are a more sensitive area, I only needed to apply for 7-10 days....I made it to 8 and could do no more. No doubt Efudex is challenging to use, but it beats multiple surgeries where hunks of your face are removed! I plan to use in the future where issues emerge....because the “bad” cancer causing cells will keep appearing. And, now I can do something when they do!"
"I am on day 15 of the Efudex cream. I was terrified to start. I was actually prescribed the cream two other times and chickened out due to the photos that I had seen on YouTube. I am doing very well so far. It is super tight and red around my mouth, very hard to smile. I have spots all over my forehead and a few on my cheeks. It’s always a shock to see my face in the mirror. But without looking at myself it feels like I put on one of those peel off face masks just tight. So far I sleep just fine. I don’t however use Vaseline I use calendula it’s for burns and has worked well. I have also used makeup when I had to go out in public. It is definitely convenient being in lockdown because everyone is wearing a mask so it hides my super red chin. I have 6 more days of cream, I am taking this one day at a time. The only side effect so far that I have had is two different days I felt extremely tired."
"I am 70, with chestnut hair, fair skin and blue eyes. My doctor diagnosed actinic keratosis on a small lesion on my face. He recommended Efudix twice a day for 3 weeks. I used a cotton bud to apply the cream as it seemed easier to apply it thinly that way than with my finger. During the first two weeks the lesion started to become red and enlarged slightly. Towards the end of the second and throughout the third week yellowy crusts started to form and the lesion felt tender and raw. If I went out in the sun I put a small plaster over it for protection. After the treatment a scab formed over the whole area that took two weeks to fall off. Then new skin appeared and I have been applying Calendula to aid the recovery. I am left with a pink streak which hopefully will fade with time. Until then I will use a 'hide the blemish' make-up which I would think a man could also use, if need be. Overall very pleased with the result."
"Male 52, having had ongoing AK issues on scalp and face, regularly frozen with dry ice over past several years. Started using Efudex 2x daily on scalp for past 3 weeks; some mild irritation but not at all problematic; after 2 weeks crusty areas fell away (I did slightly agitate which I know I shouldn't) and will continue to use for another 1-2 weeks. So far so good, material improvement in scalp and tenderness has subsided substantially. Now starting to try small area on forehead below hairline, before doing entire face...just to see if reaction is very different, but this is just SO much better than having intermittent freezing. Will definitely do a second cycle on scalp after a break. Highly recommend based on 3 weeks' usage. Will update further after using on face. Thanks for all the other posts !"
"I was prescribed Efudex to treat various Actinic Keratoses on my forehead and balding front pate. Firstly my overall rating is that the treatment is very effective and I now have a beautiful forehead of smooth skin after 2 weeks 2 days of treatment and 2 weeks of recovery post treatment. It may be that my skin damage was mild. In any event I found the process quite bearable.I applied the cream sparingly night and morning and there was little to see for 3 or 4 days, skin then reddened and peeled/flaked - no ulceration or discharge. Although unsightly (looked like a bright rash) as a male I was still happy to go out and socialise. I used my wife's hair colourant plastic protective gloves but still washed hands thoroughly after use. Happy."
"One of the most painful experiences of my entire life. I thought childbirth was the worse pain I ever experienced, but this pain is indescribable. I'm at 5 weeks now. Hope to come off soon. Just opening my mouth to try eat is excruciating. My Dr never warned me about any of this, nor did he tell me I was going to look like a monster."
"I am using efudex and the spots were getting raised and crusty as expected but then it got damp in the shower and came off with a bit of bleeding. It has settled down now . But I was worried if this has set back the process. I would appreciate your comments."
"I had a very tiny split on the side of my nose that wouldn’t heal. It was BCC. It was surgically removed. One of the most horrible experiences, emotionally. I used Efudex a year ago for a spot that appeared on my chest. It worked well, although painful and itchy. I am now using it on my forehead, nose and upper lip area. I was shocked at how many spots appeared! Extremely painful when touched, but otherwise just a little itchy on occasion. I am grateful for all the comments here....it gives me courage to keep going. Week 2....."
"I was prescribed Efudex for basal carcinoma on my leg. Used twice a day for 3 weeks. Excellent result. Now 6 weeks on and just left with red area which I assume will fade with time. I was also told to treat AK on my face, used cream once a day for 4 weeks (stopped 3 days short). As with other comments made, I was not informed by the dr that I would look absolutely monstrous. Immediate reddening of the entire face, followed by scabbing. Still at the scabbing stage. I could get a part in a horror movie. The cream seemed to migrate towards my eyes where I had not applied it. Would I have used Efudix if I had known what I would look like - probably wouldn’t have had the courage as people stare when I am out and about. Determined to continue with my life as normal. Think it’s better than it turning into cancer at a later stage. I await the results with bated breath, although I think this may be many months away."
"I am on my 18th day of using Efudix. I am only using on my tip of nose. This morning a horrible crusty scab of blistering came off and it is now red and raw. I am still using as I was told to stop on day 21. I am seeing my doctor tomorrow to see how things are going and whether I should carry on for longer. No pain, just a sort tingling and look like Rudolph the Reindeer, but coping fine. Sleep well and no real side affects."
"I chose to apply my treatment over 2 periods separated by 6 months. half of face and right arm this time and in 6 months will do the other half. 53 years old, scottish descent growing up in Queensland, Australia. Too late to chip my parents about that. Skin: Fitzpatrick Type 1. I had a good (severe) reaction within 3 days, applying three times per day against the advice of 2 times per day. Within 1 week, yellowish crusting, weeping etc. kept it up for two weeks in total, then stopped and another 2 weeks to recover. Good result. Pain intense, and I was fortunate enough to have a GP that prescribed some decent pain killers and a mild sedative (5mg Diazepam) to help me get through the night. Tried to persevere without the drugs but they proved to be a god send,. Would recommend to do this treatment in Winter and off work or working from home. (Trivial note: started treatment at the same time as working from home due to Covid-19)"
"I spent years in the sun scuba diving and hiking in Mexico and Arizona. For years I've constantly had to use lip balm because my lips were so dry. I tried many products and they never worked. My lips would crack and peel all the time. Just recently I got diagnosed with Actinic Chelitis. I have been prescribed a Effudex 5% once a day for 3 to 4 weeks. I am at Week 2 and experiencing severe, almost unbearable, burning pain because of deep sores with massive amounts of oozing and crusting and now bleeding, tightness and severe dryness. I will try to endure another week but I think I would rather surgery any day than this."
"I used Flouroplex about 15 years ago on my chest and face, they were both a mess for 5-6 weeks, but the treatment is worth is. I started seeing the same damage on my chest and face and my DR prescribed Efudex 5%. It works the same and when I spread it on the chest little red spots started showing, then more and more. I look like my chest has the measles. Some are large spots that swell and ooze. It is very itchy with prickly pain, now in the third week, hard to sleep. I'm going to stop at the weeks end for a full 4 weeks. I also treated some specific spots on the side of my face but it just got very red, turned blackish, I stopped that at 3 weeks and it is healing nicely with the help of vaseline. I have not had any side effects with vomiting or headaches as others have reported. Once my chest starts healing I'm going to try some additional spots on my face. It is not pleasant but what chemo treatment would be? The alternative is surgery."
"Used for 4 weeks to treat what physician thought might be an AK (Actinic Keratosis) - a very tiny dry scaly spot above my upper lip. Efudex was easy to use, not painful, just a gnarly scab that took weeks to fall off. Once gone, the skin was smooth but red. Red spot was 3X larger than the AK being treated (now the size of a pencil eraser). Hoping the redness will heal in time. Finished treatment two months ago but the smooth red splotch remains. It looks far worse than the tiny dry spot I had before I began treatment. Regret using Efudex"
"I had a small spot on nose. Used this twice a date for 14 days. Spot became very red and got scabby where the precancer is on skin. After 14 days stopped treatment. Now in healing process. Using Vaseline twice day. Scabs are showing coming off on own. DON'T PEEL. AREA very red but becoming less a bit. I hear it takes a few weeks for the redness to subside. So far so good. Not too much discomfort. I did get depressed doing this though as it's my face and I didn't want you go in public."
"I used efudix for 20 days. Got all the bearable symptoms of rash, redness and sore skin. It took about 2 months for the redness to go completely. The main long lasting side effect I have is that it's been six months and I still have permanently very greasy, greasy skin on my nose and cheeks where I applied it. TIP, make sure you are not prone to rosacea before using it. I didn't know I was prone but the efudix triggered the adult rosacea I never knew I had. (rosacea is like acne, it comes and goes but only in the place where I used the efudix, it's embarrassing and I don't like going in public during flare ups.) I wouldn't recommend this treatment at all. It might be ok on small 2cm spot treatments on the body, NOT THE FACE. Beware"
"Had to stop using Efudix on my face after 2 weeks and 2 days because of pain, dizziness, and mouth sores. My face was a fright, bright red all over as the cream seemed to creep" when used . One week later the rash has settled and the pain has subsided but I fear it will be weeks before I return to my normal look. I have dry flakey scabs on my face where scabs were not evident before Efudix. I regret using this cream on my face. My chest looks like I have been blasted with both barrels of a shotgun. Red welts everywhere as I dressed the whole area with Efudix as advised by DR. Not really painful but starting to itch. I am 3 weeks into this area, I feel I could stop now but will give it a few more days. The jury is still out................."
"My dermatologist said apply on face twice daily for 10-12 days. Well, my skin is super sensitive. After 2 days I was red, itching, and in pain, so I stopped at the end of day 5. I’m at day 9 and look like I have severe sunburn with scaling, pealing, oozing, and burning. I am hopeful I’m about to turn a corner toward clearing up. Argh! It worked great on my legs after 2 week’s treatment. My facial skin, another story."
"My GP saw some actinic keratosis on my head and said I should mention this at my appointment a dermatologist. I am using fluorouracil 5% .The regime was 4 weeks once a day, followed by 3 weeks healing followed by 4 weeks. The 2nd treatment is to reveal and fix any actinic keratosis missed in the first. I have nearly finished the ALL treatment, on my head - I am bald. I am 78 years old. The treatment on the head was itchy and at the end painful- the 2nd treatment did not show any remaining AKs. I could see that some of the 'rash' raised by the drug extended to my face so I started a treatment there. This was more painful - particularly round the mouth and cheeks as these move if you smile or speak. I am in the healing phase now and will start a second treatment in 2 weeks. COVID has meant that my scary face has not scared the neighbourhood!! This was free on the NHS (National Health Service UK)- they are great"
Reviews may be edited to correct grammar/spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest are not published. This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare professionals.
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"57 year old male, brought up in South Africa, lived in Australia and 30+ years in the military with sunny deployments. Prev suffered two SCC's and Bowen's disease. I'm in day 25 of Efudex treatment, stopped applying the cream after 21 days. My face is very red and itchy, it's amazing how the cream identifies areas of damage. It's been tough at times, sleepless nights with burning/itching. Strangely when I stopped applying the cream I suffered stomach acid, unsure if its relayed. The biggest challenge is to persevere to the end. I use Aquaphore from Amazon to soothe the itching. Good luck to everyone!"