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Shared Efudex Experiences

FACE
Days 1-7
Days 8-14
Days 16-20
Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Efudex Day 24 (10 days post)
Efudex Day 25
Efudex Day 26 (12 days post)

CHEST
Chest: Day 1-28

BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER!



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Frequently Asked Questions & Some General Info...

I decided to compile this list after receiving a lot of emails asking about the same few things, so I just wanted to clarify.

If you don't see your question answered, pls see my email link at the bottom of the page & contact me!

When did you do this treatment?
I did my face in May of 2009 and my chest in August 2009. Then I did a second application on my chest in January 2010.

How long did you apply it for?
My dermatologist prescribed a two week course of treatment.

What, if anything, should I have before starting treatment?
In addition to Efudex, make sure you have Aquaphor (made by Eucerin), a steroidal cream (such as Aristocort, will greatly help with redness, iritation, itching, etc...), and cold compress packs (the soft fabric kind that you put in the freezer and reuse)!

cold compress The soft fabric cold compress by Ace, I used these at night to help me sleep!

Did you apply Efudex to your entire face/chest, or just do spot treatment?
I applied it to my entire face, and then a few months later to my entire chest. If you wait until the spots are visible, you are waiting too long!

How long did it take you to "look normal" again?
I did the Efudex for two weeks, then my face got its worst at about 10 days after that. So total from the beginning it was about 5-6 weeks before I was really comfortable to venture outside again. But that's just me, everyone is different.

Are you glad you did it?
Absolutely! I am glad I did it not so much for the cosmetic effect I was hoping for, but because I do believe it got rid of the early cell BCCs I had (and hopefully the AKs as well).

Did you see much improvement after you were all healed?
At first I saw a huge improvement in my forehead, which is where I had most of the [visible] sun damage. However, little by little my forehead started to revert to its original state- the roughness started to come back & it just didn't stay as smooth as it was when it first healed. I did have some hyperpigmentation (white spots) when it was completely healed- this happened on my forehead where you will see that really bad spot (that was the early stage BCC).

Keep in mind- everyone is different! Some people seem to have a lot more itching & pain than I did. I used Aristocort, a steroid cream prescribed by my doctor, to help with the discomfort. Also, the timing can be completely different. My sister did two weeks also and she didn't have a reaction as quickly as I did- hers didn't get really red until maybe the end of the second week, whereas by day 7 I had a ton of redness - See pic. I didn't go out after that :)

I did NOT wash my face while I was applying the Efudex (this was after I stopped wearing make up) and was told there was no need to do so. The reason I had asked her was it reached a point where washing my face with water felt like I was putting acid on my skin. It was dreadful. When using the Aquaphor, I would only apply a light layer and by the next morning (or that night), it would be absorbed. In case you aren't familiar with Aquaphor it has the same active ingredient as Vaseline, so is very greasy. My dr instructed me to apply the Efudex, wait 10 minutes for it to absorb, then apply a light layer of Aquaphor. I read on some other journals that people were told to wait 1 hour. I did what my dr recommended, and he said 10 minutes is fine. I remember a couple of days before the end I came out after doing my nightly application and said to my mom, "I don't think I can this anymore". But, I hung in there. And you can too, Also, I think that my doctor having prescribed Aristocort (a topical steroid, the generic is triamcinolone) really helped with the itching and burning & I might not have made it the entire two weeks without it. I would not even consider doing this again unless I had that on hand, even if you don't plan on using it, if it does get to the point where you think the itching and burning is intolerable, the triamcinolone is a lifesaver.