Topical creams to clear sun-damaged skin

Your doctor may recommend using medicated topical creams to help clear widespread sun-damage from your skin. Common brands include Efudex and Aldara.

These creams target sun-damaged pre-cancerous cells and very early skin cancers and alert your body to attack and destroy these cells. For this reason, the effects of the creams often extend to areas of skin surrounding where you have applied the cream, not just directly where the cream has been applied itself.

In order to kill off these cells, your body must develop an intense inflammatory reaction. This means that after a few days of using the creams, your skin in and around where the cream is applied may become:

  • Red
  • Scaly
  • Tender
  • Blistered

THIS IS NORMAL – in fact, the worse the reaction, the better the creams are working to kill off the pre-cancerous and cancerous cells!

For more information about using topical medicated skin cancer creams, see Information Sheets.

For more information about skin cancer and other common skin lesions, see Skin Cancer.