Another cream used is diclofenac, which goes by the tradename Solaraze. This cream is actually a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) related to aspirin and ibuprofen. Topically, this cream also works against actinic keratosis and is typically used one to two times daily for up to three months. This is probably the least irritating of the creams used but a drawback is daily application for such a prolonged period of time. Again, avoiding the sun is important so spring and summertime are not great treatment times.
If you and your dermatologist decide that treating your actinic keratoses at home is a good plan, keep in mind that you will have at least mild skin irritation that can appear red and inflamed. This is important to keep in mind as you may not want to undergo this treatment at a time that overlaps with an important family function or other event at which you do not want the treated area to be fairly visible. Moisturizer and mild cortisone creams may be used to offset the expected redness and inflammation. Most importantly, these creams are very effective at treating the precancerous lesions but after your treatment, have your dermatologist evaluate any remaining lesions as the ones that do not respond to the treatment may actually be cancerous. Most of the time, these treatments are done in addition to the in-office treatment with liquid nitrogen to the thicker, more advanced lesions. Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the clock and reverse the sun damage but hopefully, with liquid nitrogen and these creams, we can prevent these precancers from developing into cancer.