Skin cancer cream helps wrinkles: Study - Macleans.ca

Skin cancer cream helps wrinkles: Study

Smooths out rough spots, wrinkles, and improves skin colour; but there’s negative side effects

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A cream that treats precancerous forms of squamous cell carcinoma, one of the two most common types of skin cancer, might also leave you with younger-looking skin. According to U.S. researchers, Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ cream Efudex made skin look smoother, more evenly toned, and erased brown spots. Generically known as fluorouracil, the cream has been around for many years; it seems to create a wound healing response that causes an increase in collagen production, which smooths out wrinkles. But the cream isn’t without negative side effects; soon after it’s applied, skin appears red and inflamed. “Patients look really bad,” Dr. Dana Sachs of the University of Michigan told Reuters. “Their skin is red. I’ve heard people describe it as looking like raw hamburger meat.” Afterwards, however, pre-cancers are gone and skin quality appears to be improved. In the study, 21 people aged 56 to 85 with actinic keratoses (a precancerous form of squamous cell carcinoma) and sun damage used the cream twice daily on the face for two weeks. The team looked at changes in the skin, taking facial biopsies over a six-month period. Not only did they see better skin texture, softer skin and fewer wrinkles; skin also appeared more even toned.

Reuters

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