healing scars from efudex

san d Community Member October 03, 2007
  • Efudex took its toll on my facial skin and it had pits that looked like big acne scars.   I switched dermatologists  because the one I had at first could not give me any advice about cover-ups or how we would get rid of them for several months.   The second dermatologist was a woman and recommended that every morning I rub a dab of aquaphor between my fingers and spread it all over my face because moisture is essential to heal the scarring, then she suggested I apply a thin coat of Prascion RA (prescription cream with sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfer 5%) over it, and then said I should follow it with any brand of LONG WEARING makeup - preferably one that had titanium dioxide as its only or its dominant sunscreen.  Something about the long wearing formula helps promote healing.  I chose Revlon Colorstay  (regular has a 15 spf or Active has a 25 spf) but if you look you may find others with titanium dioxide as a major sunscreen.  At bedtime, I wash my face and let the skin breathe overnight without anything on it.  In a relatively short time the "pits" went away after using this trio every morning.  My skin looks great.    A few friends have commented it looks like I had a chemical beauty peel and how good my skin looks but I have assured them they don't want to use what I did.   Considering my first dermatologist did not have any advice on this, I thought it might be worth sharing on your site.
35 Comments
  • Jaymat
    May. 31, 2011

    I was told to use Efudex for three weeks.

    The first couple days I had red dots. After about 5 days I had black areas and extreem pain burnng ans sweeling. In 12 days I was cracking and bleeding. I kept using it.

    I have used it about 18 days and I am bleeding profusely. I am afraid I will have permanent scars. I have been sick and had severe headaches. I am...

    RHMLucky777

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    I was told to use Efudex for three weeks.

    The first couple days I had red dots. After about 5 days I had black areas and extreem pain burnng ans sweeling. In 12 days I was cracking and bleeding. I kept using it.

    I have used it about 18 days and I am bleeding profusely. I am afraid I will have permanent scars. I have been sick and had severe headaches. I am finally lossing big patches of brown skin.

     

    I used it on my bald head, face, arms and hands.

    My arms are a solid scab. They burn and itch horribly.

     

    The second week, two hours after uing the Eufedex I tried to get some relief with Aloevera and lidocane. That to was extreemly painful as well.

     

    I quit using it today I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

    Anyone else have it this bad??

    Jay

     

    • JP
      JP
      May. 31, 2011

      Sounds like 1) you are having an "allergic" (a catch-all term meaning "bad") reaction to the medication; and 2) you are treating too many areas at once and exceeding what your body can tolerate.  I found that if I reduced the area treated, my REALLY bad reactions stopped so that I could complete treatment in a specific area.  The other areas...

      RHMLucky777

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      Sounds like 1) you are having an "allergic" (a catch-all term meaning "bad") reaction to the medication; and 2) you are treating too many areas at once and exceeding what your body can tolerate.  I found that if I reduced the area treated, my REALLY bad reactions stopped so that I could complete treatment in a specific area.  The other areas I can go back to later - preferably in the winter time.  Spring/summer is no time to be using this medication in Houston, Texas.  I found that after a couple of weeks of not using Efudex/generic, I felt myself coming out of a mental fog.  This is strong stuff that affects you mentally as well as physically.  Good luck.

    • Anonymous
      NervousWreck
      Jun. 03, 2011

      I agree totally that you really need to be prepared mentally for this treatment. I was given the cream to use on my chest and hairline for 3 weeks 2x daily and told that I would experience a little irritation...are they kidding? It's been a week since I stopped and my chest and face are still coverd with pimple looking acne, a bit of crusting and weird shaped...

      RHMLucky777

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      I agree totally that you really need to be prepared mentally for this treatment. I was given the cream to use on my chest and hairline for 3 weeks 2x daily and told that I would experience a little irritation...are they kidding? It's been a week since I stopped and my chest and face are still coverd with pimple looking acne, a bit of crusting and weird shaped blotches. I was told to use a steroid cream for 7 days following but could not get in to see my Derm til Monday. I've been wearing turtle necks and brushing bangs straight dwon however have had many people cringed and asked me what the heck happened. After a week I don't see much sign of healing....and have become obsessed with this , worried that I've made a huge mistake. Really hoping that the Doc will say it's worked well and not to worry that the pimple acne stuff will fade in time. hoping that I haven't opened up a can of worms here. Would never do this again unless I had been totally prepared for what was to come. I wish I'd read these boards prior......geesh

    • JP
      JP
      Jun. 03, 2011

      To Jaymat and Nervous Wreck: let us know about what your doctors said about your situations.  Interested to know.  It's been exactly 2 months since I applied the first Efudex.  The worst looking areas of my face after treatment have cleared up nicely and are now just a pale pink. Be sure to use some type of softening cream so that the...

      RHMLucky777

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      To Jaymat and Nervous Wreck: let us know about what your doctors said about your situations.  Interested to know.  It's been exactly 2 months since I applied the first Efudex.  The worst looking areas of my face after treatment have cleared up nicely and are now just a pale pink. Be sure to use some type of softening cream so that the new skin is nourished as it grows back (my clinic suggested Aquaphor, available anywhere; I got some at WalMart). 

    • miki
      Jun. 06, 2011

      Hello All,

       

      I saw my Derm finally today and she said that I had the strongest reaction she'd ever seen to the Efudex.She said it could be ,if not, a combo, of a lot more AKs..sun damage that she or I were aware of and the possibility of an auto-immune response as well. She did compare  the look of the area to that of a...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello All,

       

      I saw my Derm finally today and she said that I had the strongest reaction she'd ever seen to the Efudex.She said it could be ,if not, a combo, of a lot more AKs..sun damage that she or I were aware of and the possibility of an auto-immune response as well. She did compare  the look of the area to that of a chemical peel but did not appear to be overly concerned. She however prescribed a script for prednisone and a healing cream called Biofine. She was very confident that all would heal and that I would be very pleased with the end result.....wheww.

       

      The bloches on my forhead do appear to be fading as well.

       

      So happy to have found this site. Thanks for all of your support.

       

       

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jun. 06, 2009

    Thank you for this information.  I have red blotches that have yet to go away from my treatment.  I am very angry because the Dr did not inform me of the chances of scarring or permanent redness.  In fact I was told it would even out my skin tone and so to use it on my whole face instead of just the one spot he thought was pre-cancerous. ...

    RHMLucky777

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    Thank you for this information.  I have red blotches that have yet to go away from my treatment.  I am very angry because the Dr did not inform me of the chances of scarring or permanent redness.  In fact I was told it would even out my skin tone and so to use it on my whole face instead of just the one spot he thought was pre-cancerous.  I am very angry about this and will see another Dr.

    I hope others read this and know there is a 30% chance of some kind of permanent scarring that will not go away!!!!  BEWARE OF EFUDEX

    • Anonymous
      Sandra
      Jun. 06, 2009

           How long ago did you finish your Efudex treatment?  Are you still applying aquaphor to moisturize at night?  I had only used it for 3 weeks, how long did you use it?   My new doctor also told me to wear long-wearing makeup during the day (ONLY to begin a week after the treatment is completed) to help...

      RHMLucky777

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           How long ago did you finish your Efudex treatment?  Are you still applying aquaphor to moisturize at night?  I had only used it for 3 weeks, how long did you use it?   My new doctor also told me to wear long-wearing makeup during the day (ONLY to begin a week after the treatment is completed) to help the skin heal faster...apparently some ingredient that makes it long wearing helps your skin heal faster.  She said any long wearing makeup (no age-defying or wrinkle removing fancy ingredients - just plain old long wearing but with a sunscreen in it) .  She recommended titanium dioxide as the sunscreen ingredient becuase it is better for your skin.  I got some over the counter make up base at Walgreens and I also have some by clinique (Super CityBlock 25 spf which I special ordered cause they stopped selling it in the store).   The clinique is very sheer and good for a guy who doesnt want it to look like he has makeup on, but I used the over the counter stuff for the first couple of weeks because it covered more.  As I recall I used a very thin layer of Aquaphor on my face first, waited for a few minutes while I did other things, then blotted off the excess and applied the long wearing makeup.  Try it...it might help you!

           Like you, I was told to use the Efudex (and later Carac) chemo cremes over my whole face so that there would be no skin color difference between treated area and non-treated areas.   Also, if you had pock marks show up all over it was because there was probably an abundance of abnormal cells there that you killed, don't you think?  My skin never peeled either - just got pink and nasty looking.  I had only a couple of deep pock marks but was happily surprised to see they all healed over reasonably well within like a week or two and then faded away completely in another couple of weeks.  

           Since then I felt itching/tickling and was afraid it was coming back so I was prescribed Carac creme and got one deep pock mark from using that which did not go away. 

           I dont rely on doctors to remember to tell me anything..  Anything they tell me, I go look it up on the internet - skin conditions, medications, I look them up.   Some sites are not reliable but if you look at enough you get a good idea of what to really expect.  I remember reading on the internet how there could be scarring with both of these, but personaly I have been willing to take a chance on a scarring because my suspected skin cancer was in the middle of my face and I figured skin cancer there would be worse than a scar. 

           The only alternatives  I know of are surgery (which I was told is more likely than the cremes to leave scarring, even mohs can leave a small scar) or blue light treatments (the PDT did little for me - depends on if the nurse is doing it right so one time I would have no reaction and the next time I would - effectiveness was unpredictable and 2 mos after completing a round of 8 treatments and leaving with their blessings I had another pink spot come up anyway).   My condition is only pre-cancerous but I am trying my best to kill it and keep it from coming back or getting worse.   I am now using Aldera creme and the doctor I have wants me using it over a long time at very small doses...which may be to decrease scarring...she said if I see a reaction to cut back frequency...which is fine with me, I would rather still look presentable for work if the treatment can be done discreetly....though if I do it 3xweek for 32 treatments I'll be using this stuff for a few months.    I would still rather take my chance on scars over cancer any day.   

           Try the long wearing makeup; it may help your scars heal over faster!  

    • Anonymous
      SanD (same as S...
      Jun. 06, 2009

      Keep your skin moist DAY AND NIGHT - with Aquaphor.  I was told that keeping it moist was necessary to help the scars heal.   After you finish the treatment, work with the Aquaphor round the clock for a few days then also use a long-wearing makeup over it during the day.   You may want to blot it before you apply the long wearing makeup...

      RHMLucky777

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      Keep your skin moist DAY AND NIGHT - with Aquaphor.  I was told that keeping it moist was necessary to help the scars heal.   After you finish the treatment, work with the Aquaphor round the clock for a few days then also use a long-wearing makeup over it during the day.   You may want to blot it before you apply the long wearing makeup or you'll be very shiny.


      BTW if you want a really really good sunscreen you can wear to work without that shiny wet skin look, I have been using Banana Boat SUNWEAR spf 50 which you can get from their website if you can't find it at the store and it only costs like $8 for a huge tube.  It has avo-triplex so it won't break down in the sun, a high SPF, non-greasy AND it comes in a huge tube so it's cheap.   

      I'm recommending only the regular SUNWEAR formula.  The sunwear formula for faces was more irritating to my skin and in a much smaller tube so not something I'd recommend.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Jul. 22, 2009

      Thanks for the advice and caring enough to post.  My skin is still red in places and it has been 3 months since I stopped using it.  It has gotten a little better but is still there.  I am using the Aquaphor and will look into the long wearing makeup.

    • Anonymous
      1st time user
      Jan. 15, 2011

      Your doctor should have told you how long to use it.  It is should only be used under a doctor's direction because this is a chemotherapy creme. 
      My Dermatologist told me to use it for 2 weeks and no longer than 3 weeks. I used a 5% creme twice a day.  

    • miki
      May. 17, 2011

      Hello,

       

      Was hoping you could help. I've used Effudex for three weeks now and have been told to stop. I'm worried about a couple of spots that never really crusted over and weren't there when I began the treatment, Could this mean that they are there to stay? ..that I should have used the cream longer on those spots? or that they will fade in time. My...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hello,

       

      Was hoping you could help. I've used Effudex for three weeks now and have been told to stop. I'm worried about a couple of spots that never really crusted over and weren't there when I began the treatment, Could this mean that they are there to stay? ..that I should have used the cream longer on those spots? or that they will fade in time. My Dr prescribed a steriod cream to be applying 2x daily for 7 days. Any thoughts on this? Thanks so much in advance..this procedure has been very distressing...agh

       

      Miki

    • JP
      JP
      May. 18, 2011

      As you know, Efudex causes areas on your skin to become red, giving you a blotchy appearance.  As I understand it, these are sun damaged places that are possibly "pre-cancerous."  It's quite possible that you had no idea they were there before.  I recall reading in the directions to use the Efudex until "erosion" occurs. ...

      RHMLucky777

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      As you know, Efudex causes areas on your skin to become red, giving you a blotchy appearance.  As I understand it, these are sun damaged places that are possibly "pre-cancerous."  It's quite possible that you had no idea they were there before.  I recall reading in the directions to use the Efudex until "erosion" occurs.  I take this to mean when the old skin has been damaged by the chemotherapy and is coming off. 

       

      My observation was that some areas just got really red and did not erode.  But you would not want to continue use because there are places next to these that have reached the crusting phase and do NOT need more treatment.  The cream migrates on your face, have you noticed?  Also, there may be areas that are not going to get any "worse."  This is a question a professional should answer.  I have a question myself about possibly stopping the Efudex use too early.  This happened to me when I developed diarrhea and stopped use on my hands after 10 days (at direction of doctor). 

       

       

    • miki
      May. 19, 2011

      Thanks so much for your response. This whole thing can be a bit un-nerving but i will be seeing my derm tomorrow and will have him look at it as well. I wasn't sure if everything had tio crust over to heal and I didn't want to be left with these red spots. Thanks so much again for your time I hope you are doing well.

       

      My Best,

       

      Michelle

       ...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks so much for your response. This whole thing can be a bit un-nerving but i will be seeing my derm tomorrow and will have him look at it as well. I wasn't sure if everything had tio crust over to heal and I didn't want to be left with these red spots. Thanks so much again for your time I hope you are doing well.

       

      My Best,

       

      Michelle

       

       

    • Anonymous
      missappreciation
      Dec. 27, 2010

      Thank you so much for the time you spent educating all of us who are new at this.  I am on my 5th plus week of applying the efudex.  When do I know it's okay to quit applying it?

    • san d
      Feb. 24, 2011

      Misappreciation - Jeez I jsut saw your post from December.   Are you still using it?  If you're using it every day I would think you should be through - check with your Dermatologist!    After the first time I used it every day for 3 weeks, I switched dermatologists and she prefers I use it long term but only once...

      RHMLucky777

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      Misappreciation - Jeez I jsut saw your post from December.   Are you still using it?  If you're using it every day I would think you should be through - check with your Dermatologist!    After the first time I used it every day for 3 weeks, I switched dermatologists and she prefers I use it long term but only once a week so it doesnt get much of a reaction at one time.    How long may depend on how often to some extent but hopefully by now you've checked with your dermatologist...

    • Anonymous
      missappreciation
      Mar. 24, 2011

      Thanks for your reply.  I am confused?  What did you mean by using it only once a week.  Do you mean once a week for three weeks?  I need to use it on the other side of my face but I will have to wait until next winter.  Now that I am healing on the side that was treated with efudex the skin is so let wrinkled so comparatively it looks...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks for your reply.  I am confused?  What did you mean by using it only once a week.  Do you mean once a week for three weeks?  I need to use it on the other side of my face but I will have to wait until next winter.  Now that I am healing on the side that was treated with efudex the skin is so let wrinkled so comparatively it looks odd.  But, I understand that if I their is not cancer cells efudex does nothing so do I need to get a peel or follow up with something?

    • Sandy Z
      Jan. 04, 2011

      I've treated my entire face with Efudex several times (21-day treatment each time), and noticed some residual redness afterwards.  It turns out that I have rosacea.  It only became noticeable after the sun damage was dealt with.  My dermatologist prescribed Finacea (azelaic acid gel 15%) to apply to the areas of redness. 

      I had deep sun...

      RHMLucky777

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      I've treated my entire face with Efudex several times (21-day treatment each time), and noticed some residual redness afterwards.  It turns out that I have rosacea.  It only became noticeable after the sun damage was dealt with.  My dermatologist prescribed Finacea (azelaic acid gel 15%) to apply to the areas of redness. 

      I had deep sun damage on my face, chest and lower portion of my neck from growing up on the beach in Florida, but Efudex repaired it.  I'm in my 50s and get a lot of compliments on my facial skin.  An unexpected side effect from Efudex is that you may develop a deeper empathy for anyone dealing with facial scars or damage from an accident, fire, birth defect, etc.  The stares are disconcerting, but Efudex users have comfort in knowing that their disfigurement is temporary. 

    • Anonymous
      Kim
      Aug. 01, 2012

      :)))  The experience of using this cream at 39 has given me so much more than preventing cancer from developing. I have had to endure stares on a daily basis and even pointing and laughing.  I have had to explain to a thousand people and I had to go to work every sinlge day for the entire treatment. I am only on day 2 of healing and I hope...

      RHMLucky777

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      :)))  The experience of using this cream at 39 has given me so much more than preventing cancer from developing. I have had to endure stares on a daily basis and even pointing and laughing.  I have had to explain to a thousand people and I had to go to work every sinlge day for the entire treatment. I am only on day 2 of healing and I hope to God that it is temporary.  I will forever remember this time and I know that I am fortunate to have experienced just a minute amount of what some people would experience every day of their lives.  The insight has been incredible. It is a lesson that I am truly thankful for in many many ways (though I still hope the effects on my skin are only temporary!!!)

    • unhappy
      Feb. 19, 2011

      do you still have scarring after all this time?  I have red blotches under and around my eye that hasnt gone away after 23 days of stopping the treatment. What ended up happening to you ?   What did the other dermatologist tell you to do ? I am distraught over this .

    • san d
      Feb. 22, 2011

      Be strong be Patient  - keep using a think layer of aquaphor (moisture required to heal) and LONG WEARING makeup (speeds healing).    Be sure to wear sunglasses so no sun hits the area under your eyes where it may be hard to apply suntan lotion - make sure the aquaphor has a few minutes to soak into your face before you put on...

      RHMLucky777

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      Be strong be Patient  - keep using a think layer of aquaphor (moisture required to heal) and LONG WEARING makeup (speeds healing).    Be sure to wear sunglasses so no sun hits the area under your eyes where it may be hard to apply suntan lotion - make sure the aquaphor has a few minutes to soak into your face before you put on suntan lotion.

      I look fine now.   Scars healed but Dr. wanted to make sure so she had me also do a series of blue light therapy which is a really light chemical peel that left me with baby soft skin...but dont get it on our own without DR. approval cause it may be too harsh for your skin just yet and it may not be approved for around the eyes.   I still spot treat with Aldera once a week (my dr. feels Aldera nad Carac are less harmful to normal skin cells than efudex).    My Dr. is with a hospital that is connected to a university - a teaching university - I think this keeps them up on the most current treatments.  I know I can't name names herein, but just wanted to give you something to consider.    When you're healed up ask your dr about bluelight therapy or some other light peel you might use to sluff off the top layer of damaged/scarred skin.  Be strong, be patient, light coating of aquaphor 2xdaily, long wearing makeup during day, keep positive.   You notice the scars more than anyone else.  But yes give it a few months to heal up completely....remember your skin has been through a lot.    

    • unhappy
      Feb. 22, 2011

      Thanks for the reply. I am glad to hear that your scarring eventually went away. I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow which will be about 1 month after stopping treatment. The area of concern is still pussing and scabbing and is very red. All I can do is keep it clean and covered with the Triancoinolone Acetonide ointment . I really hope I have similar...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks for the reply. I am glad to hear that your scarring eventually went away. I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow which will be about 1 month after stopping treatment. The area of concern is still pussing and scabbing and is very red. All I can do is keep it clean and covered with the Triancoinolone Acetonide ointment . I really hope I have similar results and the scarring eventually toes away . I must have had some real damage there and it is behind in the healing process. 

       

    • san d
      Feb. 22, 2011

      if it is still pussing and scabbing a month after treatment you must either have it bad or maybe the skin under the eye is so delicate it just reacts more strongly.   The eye area may be especially difficult to treat.   If you are near a teaching university like Vanderbilt Dermatology in Nashville, TN you may want to get a second...

      RHMLucky777

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      if it is still pussing and scabbing a month after treatment you must either have it bad or maybe the skin under the eye is so delicate it just reacts more strongly.   The eye area may be especially difficult to treat.   If you are near a teaching university like Vanderbilt Dermatology in Nashville, TN you may want to get a second opinion.    Good luck - post back your progress!

    • unhappy
      Feb. 24, 2011

      Hi 

       

      The doctor insisted that I "must have " gotten more Efudex on the area to have it still looking like this after 4 weeks. I reassured him that I have been painstakingly careful with it. I wash my hands with hot soapy water after applying. He continued to insist that this must be the cause. He put me on an antibiotic and did a culture to see if...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi 

       

      The doctor insisted that I "must have " gotten more Efudex on the area to have it still looking like this after 4 weeks. I reassured him that I have been painstakingly careful with it. I wash my hands with hot soapy water after applying. He continued to insist that this must be the cause. He put me on an antibiotic and did a culture to see if there is any infection going on. I am going to look at your post and do some of that stuff because I really think it is going to be scarred. I was going to use a mederma type product once it stops pussing and try to help the healing . He stopped all treatment yesterday so my hopes are that in a few weeks this will all just be a bad dream . I think I will look into another dermatologist !  

       

    • legs
      Apr. 03, 2011

      I used Efudex on my legs...the Dr. was not specific at all and I put it on like lotion....I have MANY spots on my calves...It is 2 weeks after not using the cream...I can now shave and put lotion on properly...Does the purplish scarring ever go away?  I will probably never be able to wear shorts again...Thanks for your comments..

       

  • Anonymous
    Kathy
    Jan. 09, 2008

    I've been using Efudex for 7 days and I have nothing going on. There are NO spots showing up, although my doctor insists they will show up. Did anyone have a similar experience with this? Did it take longer than 7 days to show up? Everyone advised that it would start showing spots around day 3....?

     

    • Anonymous
      Jane Hagan
      Feb. 14, 2008
      I would assume by now, 2/14/08, you have had something show up.  The first week I used Efudex nothing much happened either.  It is the second week that the action starts.  There are a couple of websites with journals and pictures that could be of interest:  http://efudex4bcc.freewebsitehosting.com/.  I am near the end of week two and...
      RHMLucky777
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      I would assume by now, 2/14/08, you have had something show up.  The first week I used Efudex nothing much happened either.  It is the second week that the action starts.  There are a couple of websites with journals and pictures that could be of interest:  http://efudex4bcc.freewebsitehosting.com/.  I am near the end of week two and trying to decide what happens next.  My skin is full of red blotches, tight and feels like a bad sunburn, but there is still a lot of regular skin left.  Will be talking to the doc later today for more direction.
    • Anonymous
      sayen
      Sep. 15, 2008

      Hello. My doctor recomended a treatment with efudex. I have a few AK that she burnt with liquid nitrogen but suggested there could be more lessions underneath. I´ve been looking at some pictures and am horrified that my whole face would look like that. The doctor told me that the face only turns red in the places where there are any lessions but to me...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hello. My doctor recomended a treatment with efudex. I have a few AK that she burnt with liquid nitrogen but suggested there could be more lessions underneath. I´ve been looking at some pictures and am horrified that my whole face would look like that. The doctor told me that the face only turns red in the places where there are any lessions but to me it doesn´t look like that in the pictures where I´ve seen people with their whole faces red and burnt (eventough the recovery pictures are amazing)

       

      In your comment you say that there were places where your healthy skin didn´t turn red. Does that really happensa. What should I expect? I asume that because of my age (37) my skin could not be that bad eventough I took a lot of sun when I was young.

       

      I would appreciate some help.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Sep. 27, 2008

      It is true that Efudex has no effect on normal skin.  It seeks out the disorganized skin cells that are precancerous or already cancerous, so if the skin is not damaged, there will be no reaction.

    • Anonymous
      JP
      Dec. 30, 2008

      I just finished my 14 day treatment with Efudex and here's what happened.  For 9 days nothing happened. On the 10th day, I noticed some very small red spots showing up.  By day 14, they had turned into huge red splotches all over my face.  It looked like I had bad acne (again lol).  My skin was very red and tight and it did feel like...

      RHMLucky777

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      I just finished my 14 day treatment with Efudex and here's what happened.  For 9 days nothing happened. On the 10th day, I noticed some very small red spots showing up.  By day 14, they had turned into huge red splotches all over my face.  It looked like I had bad acne (again lol).  My skin was very red and tight and it did feel like a sunburn.  It has now been another 15 days since I stopped using the cream.  My face never peeled but the redness has slowly lessened and the color is nearly "normal" again.  My skin does not look any better than it did before treatment though and I also now have 5 noticeable pock marks to boot!  I was going to have 1 any way because I had a small basal cell lesion that was going to have to be frozen off but I never expected to have 4 more.  Oh well, I am a 50 year old married guy so I guess it doesn't matter that much lol.  But people need to be aware that Efudex will probably cause pock marks if you have much sun damage.

       

       

    • Anonymous
      Sandra
      Dec. 30, 2008

      The pock marks will go away!    It is surprising how quickly, too - keep using aquaphor to moisturize your skin at least morning and night.   Soon you will be silky smooth again.

       

      FYI, in my 2nd week I looked like part of the Michael Jackson Thriller video.  It was really scary - but I had seen time lapse pictures of...

      RHMLucky777

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      The pock marks will go away!    It is surprising how quickly, too - keep using aquaphor to moisturize your skin at least morning and night.   Soon you will be silky smooth again.

       

      FYI, in my 2nd week I looked like part of the Michael Jackson Thriller video.  It was really scary - but I had seen time lapse pictures of someone else so I just had faith and went through with it.  I figure a couple of weeks looking really bad were better than letting cancer form on my face.    The pock marks cleared up completely within maybe 2 weeks.

       

      I have since gone on to have PDT treatments to work on removing any leftover layers of questionable skin.   Side benefit - no more wrinkles (if you moisturize properly between treatments  again, aquaphor is safe to use).  

       

       

    • Anonymous
      Brob
      Dec. 25, 2013
      I live in Australia and you can't buy aquaphor here. Any suggestions on what else I could use? I'm on day 8 and so far haven't had any reaction. I would of started it a lot earlier if I had of known that.
    • JP
      JP
      May. 14, 2011

      Having just gone through the Efudex experience, I would not recommend that anyone younger than 60 use it.  If you have any AKs, have the dermatologist freeze them with the liquid nitrogen and be done with it in a few days.  I used Efudex on my face.  I do not have to deal with the public, and at age 61, am not vain, but at...

      RHMLucky777

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      Having just gone through the Efudex experience, I would not recommend that anyone younger than 60 use it.  If you have any AKs, have the dermatologist freeze them with the liquid nitrogen and be done with it in a few days.  I used Efudex on my face.  I do not have to deal with the public, and at age 61, am not vain, but at a younger age the experience would have been devastating.  It eats away at the sundamaged skin, blisters, then peels.  It is painful and itchy.  It is strong medicine:  I had intestinal spasms, diarrhea, puffy eyes, increased heart rate, and a level of irritability that was not surprising considering what I was doing to my body.   The cream migrates on your face and can get into the tender areas around your mouth and eyes.   Be very careful with this medicine.

    • Anonymous
      Mike
      Oct. 11, 2011

      I am starting Efudex in two weeks after elk season.  After looking at some of the photos I am really concerned.  The pain and misery looks unbearable.  Is Motrin enough or do I need codeine or something stronger.  And sleeping looks like it would be impossible.

    • Sandy Z
      Aug. 04, 2012

      I had lots of sun damage to my face and have done the 3-week/twice daily Efudex treatment during the Dec./Jan. several years in a row.                   

                    

      Efudex has some type of pain...

      RHMLucky777

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      I had lots of sun damage to my face and have done the 3-week/twice daily Efudex treatment during the Dec./Jan. several years in a row.                   

                    

      Efudex has some type of pain relief in it, so the pain during treatment is not as intense as it is once you stop the treatment.  During treatment, it gradually gets worse as treatment progresses over the three weeks, with the last week feeling like you have a bad sunburn.  Once I stopped treatment, I kept my face moisturized with Neosporin Plus, which has pain reliever in it.  I also asked my doctor for Tylenol 3 to help me sleep.  My face was more painful at night when I laid down.  I guess it was because blood rushes to your face when your prone, so I would sleep propped up on some pillows.  The Tylenol 3 makes that transition week, from ending treatment, through the first week of healing, bearable.

       

      I see where people are mentioning moisturizing their faces with Aquaphor.  To the best of my knowledge, that product has absolutely no pain reliever in it.  I would only use some type of moisturizing product with a topical pain reliever in it, like Neosporin Plus.  Not Neosporin.  It has to be Neosporin Plus to have pain relief.

       

      I see where lots of people are mentioning scarring.  I had absolutely no scarring due to Efudex.  My rosacea was evident once I'd finished my first treatment, and I have some scarring left over from chicken pox when I was a child, but the final result on my face has been fabulous.  My skin is essentially wrinkle-free, although I'm in my 50s, and I shouldn't ever have to worry about skin cancer on my face. 

  • mkstump
    Oct. 04, 2007

    Hello again! This is great information - readers are going to really benefit from you experiences and your advice.

     

    Our health and beauty expert Sue Chung wrote about make-up with sunscreen in If my Make-up Has Sunscreen, Is That Enough? If you'd like to read something more fun and frivolous- check out her blog Natural Skin Care, Straight From...

    Read More

    Hello again! This is great information - readers are going to really benefit from you experiences and your advice.

     

    Our health and beauty expert Sue Chung wrote about make-up with sunscreen in If my Make-up Has Sunscreen, Is That Enough? If you'd like to read something more fun and frivolous- check out her blog Natural Skin Care, Straight From Your Kitchen. In it, Sue talks about recipes for fun skin concoctions that can really soothe your skin.

     

    Thanks again for writing.

     

    MK