(June 19, 2009 - Insidermedicine) A cream made with the chemotherapy drug fluorouracil gets rid of precancerous skin lesions and improves the appearance of sun-damaged skin, according to a study published in the Archives of Dermatology.
Here is some information on actinic keratosis:
• It is a precancerous lesion of the skin brought on by exposure to sunlight over many years
• The lesions look like scaly or crusty bumps on the skin's surface
• About 10 to 15% of active actinic keratosis lesions will develop into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma
Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School analyzed the skin of 21 patients before and after treatment with a cream made of 5% fluorouracil. The treatment, which lasted two weeks, was primarily aimed at reducing or eliminating actinic keratosis lesions.
The number of actinic keratosis lesions dropped dramatically with treatment. The treatment also reduced fine and coarse wrinkling as well as pigment changes associated with sun damage. An analysis of skin cells revealed that the treated skin had a higher concentration of compounds that are released when the skin is healing from a wound.
Today's research shows how topical 5% fluorouracil may help improve sun damage on skin, possibly by stimulating wound healing activity.
For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.