Efudex Treatment

Efudex (abbreviated 5-FU) has the ability to destroy pre-cancerous skin cells. Applying 5-FU to the skin removes the rough spots resulting form sun damage (Actinic Keratosis). The skin is then smoother and more youthful looking.

Apply 5-FU two times a day to the skin needing treatment. You may feel stinging or burning when you put 5-FU on your skin. This is normal. Three to five days after you start using 5-FU, your sun-damaged skin will become red and irritated. As you continue the treatment, sores and crusts will appear. These raw areas results from the destruction of defective skin cells. They are a necessary part of 5-FU treatment. The treatment usually continues for 2-4 weeks.

When treatment is stopped, your skin will heal rapidly; in 2-3 weeks healthy new skin will have replaced the sun-damaged skin destroyed by the 5-FU. After healing, the treated areas will be redder then normal; this redness will gradually fade in the next few months.

Directions for Using Efudex

  • Two times daily, apply the medicine very thinly to the treatment area with your fingertip and massage it in well.
  • Afterward, wash your finger thoroughly with water.
  • Do not get 5-FU in your eyes, and do not use it on your eyelids.
  • Keep 5-FU off your eyelids.
  • Use 5-FU with care in the area between the nose and cheeks since the medicine may irritate the folds around your nostrils.
  • Do not sunbathe while using 5-FU. The sun tends to intensify your skin’s reaction to this medication. You want to avoid this.
  • If your wish, you may wash the area that is to be treated with plain water before applying 5-FU.
  • You may use makeup. Be sure to apply the 5-FU before applying makeup.
  • If you notice an unusual or severe reaction, stop the medicine and contact our office.
  • After you’ve been instructed to stop using 5-FU, apply plain white petroleum jelly (Vaseline) thinly to red and crusted areas at bedtime. This helps healing. Stop the petroleum when crusts and scabs have healed.
  • CAUTION: 5-FU is a powerful, destructive medication and must be used exactly as directed. Keep it away from eyes and mouth. Keep your 5-FU locked so other people can not mistakenly use it.
  • Once your skin is completely healed, we recommend using a sunscreen every day with an SPF of 25 or higher (rain or shine) to prevent further skin damage.

For more detailed information, please refer to the American Academy of Dermatology.

DCW Info

Office Hours:
Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 4 PM

Contact Details:
5335 Discovery Park Blvd, Suite A
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
Fax 757-645-3774
Email: info@dcw1.com

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Dr. Donna Corvette
Dr. Pam Cornelius
Dermatology Center of Williamsburg

Insurance Accepted

Dermatology Center of Williamsburg participates with Medicare, Anthem Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Anthem Healthkeepers, Optima, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Tricare Standard, United Health Care insurances, and Virginia Health Network.

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