Topical Treatments


Efudix (or Efudex) cream contains 5-fluorouracil which is effective for some precancerous skin conditions. It is important to follow the instructions below to get the most out of using it.

  • Apply it once or twice daily (your doctor will advise on the frequency of application) to the affected skin avoiding the eyes and lips. Work it in gently. There is no need to rub. Include approximately 1cm of normal skin around the area you are treating.
  • When applying ideally wear a disposable glove to protect your fingers, (polythene is best)
  • Continue using it for 4 weeks unless the treated skin becomes very red and sore in which case stop it sooner. Some reddening is a good sign. It means the cream is working well.
  • When you have finished the treatment your doctor may advise on the use of an antibiotic containing cream if the treated area is crusted or weeping.
  • Do not repeat the treatment unless asked to do so by a doctor.
  • Some patients develop a severe redness and blistering as a result of the treatment – THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO THE CREAM, but may need a break for a week. When you restart the cream your doctor may advise to apply it less frequently. Consult with your specialist if you have any concerns about your therapy.

Here are some links to other pages to show you what a patient looks like whilst undergoing treatment:

  1. My Efudex Experience
  2. My Journey with Efudex in Photos
  3. Tips for Efudex Users

Here is a link to the Effudix patient information leaflet from the British Association of Dermatologists


Imiquimod (Aldara) is used to treat actinic keratoses (a scaly, rough skin lesion that can appear on your face, lips, ears, forearms, back of your hands, scalp and neck), and basal cell carcinoma. The cream cannot be purchased over the counter, it must be prescribed by your doctor.


Imiquimod cream (brand name Aldara) is a practically odourless, off-white cream. It comes in 5 percent strength in 250-milligram single-use packets.

How It Works

The cream can shrink clinically typical actinic keratosis lesions that are neither flaky nor thick on the face or scalp in adults with healthy immune systems.

It can also be used in adults with healthy immune systems to treat primary superficial basal cell carcinoma with a maximum tumor diameter of 2.0 cm, located on the trunk, neck or extremities (except for hands and feet) that has been confirmed with a biopsy.

How to Use

The cream should be applied just before bedtime. Wash your hands before and after applying it. Wash the area being treated with mild soap; rinse it thoroughly with water and let dry for ten minutes. Then apply the cream to the area as directed by your doctor and rub it in until it’s completely absorbed. Be sure to include approximately 1cm of normal skin around the area you are treating. In the morning, wash off the area treated with mild soap and then rinse it thoroughly with water.

Your specialist will advise you how frequently to apply the cream and the duration of the treatment.

It is common to develop redness of the skin during the course of treatment. This means the cream is working well. If the treated area becomes very inflamed then you may need to stop the treatment for a few days to let the inflammation settle. Your doctor will advise on how long to stop the treatment for. When you restart the treatment, your doctor may advise you to reduce the frequency of application.

Follow your doctor’s specific instructions. If you feel unwell after you begin using the cream, call your doctor.


Here is a link to the imiquimod patient information leaflet from the British Association of Dermatologists