It has been around for almost half a century, but it is the new anti-aging cream on sale. Fluorouracil, which was originally used as an intravenous chemotherapy drug, has evolved into a topical treatment for precancerous actinic keratosis lesions. But as researchers recently discovered, its potential is not limited to cancer care.
In a study by the University of Michigan Faculty of Medicine, patients with actinic keratosis applied a 5% cream fluorouracil, also known under the brands Efudex and Fluoroplex, on the face twice a day for two weeks.
Not only did this treatment reduce the average number of lesions from more than 11 to less than two, but it also followed “a series of healing events that resemble those observed with the treatment to laser photo-aging ”, according to the Archives. Dermatology report.
The results included a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (such as age spots) and a pale color.
“For patients for whom topical fluorouracil therapy is indicated for the treatment of actinic keratosis, it is likely to have a remedial effect on sun damage,” the researchers wrote. “There is no doubt that some patients want topical fluorouracil therapy for cosmetic purposes, due to the relatively low cost of this therapy compared to ablative laser resurfacing.”
Fluorouracil, which works by disrupting a DNA replication enzyme, is currently not approved by the FDA for cosmetic use.
However, this could change in the relatively near future if research, testing, and improper use by a physician, established by the physician, prove that its benefits outweigh the possible side effects.