Topical skin cancer treatment alternatives

Topical Skin Cancer Treatment Home Remedy Formulations

This page provides information on topical skin cancer home remedies utilizing readily available ingredients. Skin applied  treatments have many advantages for rapid, effective, and natural healing of cancers.  Topical treatments can target the cancer site with much higher doses than could ever be achieved with oral treatments alone. Consider using this information entirely at your own risk. These formulations may be changed or removed without notice.

On this page:
Cymilium, an insect bite remedy containing pancreatin
An experimental home remedy based on Cymilium
Coconut oil and melatonin skin cancer home remedy
Citrus oil (d-limonene) home remedy for skin cancer
Supercharging Efudex with DMSO
A short discussion of zinc chloride, bloodroot, and Aldara


The first topical skin cancer treatment that I found works quite well is Cymilium, an over the counter insect bite remedy. Cymilium is a beige cream that comes in a carton containing 14 little foil pouches. Each little pouch is said to contain 2 doses, but I found I could get around 15 applications out of each one. I simply applied the Cymilium several times a day with my finger to my lesion with skin cancer symptoms, briefly working it into the skin until it disappeared. I then rinsed my finger because it became a little irritated over time if I did not rinse it. I usually reapplied it whenever I had to use the restroom. There was a bit of a sting and smell from the ammonia that went away within a minute. Otherwise the treatment was painless for me. For the first few days my lesion seemed to swell somewhat. After that, the lesion became well defined and then started to shrink in size. Significant healing progress of my probable skin cancer lesion was observed within a week. Cymilium is listed for purchase for about $10 US at in April 2004. I did not hyperlink this intentionally. I am not promoting, nor do I want to appear like I am promoting this product. This product is apparently not otherwise widely available.

The good news regarding Cymilium is that the components of an effective topical treatment for skin cancer, at least in my experience, are known. The ingredients disclosed on the Cymilium box are the active ingredient ammonium hydroxide 3% in a base containing aloe vera, cetyl alcohol, diazolidinyl urea, emulsifying wax, methylparaben, mineral oil, pancreatin, petrolatum, polyethylene glycol distearate, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium laurel ether sulfate, stearic acid, urea, and water. Ammonium hydroxide is commonly known as ammonia. Petrolatum is commonly known as Vaseline or petroleum jelly. I think the most critical ingredients in the Cymilium product for topical skin cancer treatment are pancreatin, ammonia, aloe vera, urea, and possibly stearic acid. The other ingredients in the Cymilium preparation probably function as preservatives and topical carriers that disperse the active ingredients, maintain contact with the skin, and prevent rapid evaporation. The urea compounds in particular may also act as wetting agents and penetration enhancers. Urea works by breaking up the surface tension of the fluid that surrounds the cancer cells, allowing access of the other ingredients to the cancer cell membranes. Many of these ingredients, except for pancreatin and ammonia, can be found in common skin lotions.

Picture of Cymilium box and foil pouch.
Picture of Cymilium box and foil pouch as sold in late 1990's.  Intended for insect bite relief, it has also been found to be useful in some cases to treat non-melanoma skin cancers according to testimonial reports.

Here is some rationale for picking pancreatin, ammonia, aloe vera as the most important ingredients of Cymilium. I think the pancreatin enzymes kill the cancer cells by breaking up the proteins in the cell membranes, possibly allowing the cell to be recognized as defective or foreign by other body defenses. Aloe vera contains polysaccharides which stimulate immune defenses. Aloe vera also contains amylase enzymes that break up carbohydrate based strands that can block the access of the pancreatin enzymes to the membranes of the cancer cells. Aloe vera is easily absorbed into the skin and acts as a carrier for the pancreatin. Aloe vera gel may help with detoxification of the dead cancer cells. The ammonia makes the mixture alkaline to protect the pancreatin from acids that tend to destroy it. Ammonia probably has other functions as well.

The degree of acidity and alkalinity of a substance is characterized using a pH (potential Hydrogen) scale that ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is in the middle of the scale and is considered neutral. An acid has a pH below 7 and is stronger as the number approaches 0. An alkaline has a pH above 7 and is stronger as the number approaches 14. Both strongly acidic (pH typically less than 2.5) and strongly alkaline (pH typically greater than 11.5) substances can cause burn-like injuries to skin. Each change in the pH scale by one is a factor of ten different in concentration.

Cancer cells are sensitive to both alkaline and acid environments. Cancer cells in the laboratory grow most rapidly at a pH of about 5.5 and quickly die when exposed to a pH of 8.5 or greater. Cancer cells also die in the laboratory when exposed to acids with a pH less than 2.5. The problem with using acids to attack skin cancer is that normal skin will experience acid burns near that pH level. Attacking cancer from the alkaline side makes more sense in terms of safety and being able to utilize other immune defenses.

Ammonium hydroxide (ammonia diluted in water) makes the environment very hostile to the cancer. The ammonia helps get the mixture through the acid mantle (dead outer layer) of the skin and also neutralizes the acid envelope that surrounds the cancer tumor.  Ammonia has the fastest rate of skin penetration of common alkalies. Ammonia exposure leaves the tissues alkaline for several hours. These are potentially desirable qualities for topical skin cancer treatments.

Pancreatin enzymes, and especially the protein dissolving enzyme trypsin, are most effective in an alkaline environment with a pH of 8.5 but still work less optimally over a pH range of about 6.5 to 9.5. Skin cancer lesions are normally more acidic than normal skin. This is because their metabolism of glucose is anaerobic so that they generate substantial lactic acid byproducts, and their internal blood circulation is poor. The pH of an ideal topical solution would appear to be in the range of 9.0 to 11.0 to be relatively safe for skin contact, be capable of neutralizing the acid environment surrounding the lesion, enable the direct killing of cancer cells by making their environment alkaline, and promote the optimal activity of pancreatin enzymes.

Household ammonia typically has a pH of about 11.5.   Other familiar pH reference points are baking soda with a pH of 8.5, Ivory brand bar soap with a pH of 9.5, milk of magnesia with a pH of 10.5, and Windex (as in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding) with a pH of 12.

Stearic acid could also play a role in Cymilium. Stearic acid is a saturated fat molecule that has an exceptionally strong affinity for free ionic calcium Ca2+. Consumed by the cancer cell, the excess Ca2+ attracted by the stearic acid is speculated to cause the cancer cell's glucose metabolism to shut down, and the cancer cell soon dies. In order for this scenario to work, sufficient calcium must also be available in the blood. Other experimental cancer drugs target the Ca2+ cancer cell apoptosis (cell death) mechanism. This speculation may or may not be correct, but eating an alkalizing diet with adequate calcium is a good idea in any case.

See real experiences with Cymilium in the  Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forums.
1 month of cymilium
PDQ Herbal
Combo Treatments - and one that works
Lichen Planus treatment using Cymilium
BCC Longevity Success Rate Poll
Hello all
My experience with topical treatments
Has anyone tried orange oil for skin cancer?
How do you know when you are healed?
Update on my Hydrogen Peroxide treatment
Bleeding after using Cymilium 3 days
I have BCC and a couple questions
Supra Clens experience
what I have learned treating my skin cancer
Cymilium and other stuff
Just a few comments to add my 2 cents worth
Too much pancreatin?
coping with a recurrence

Making an experimental topical skin cancer preparation based on Cymilium's ingredients

It has become desirable to try to create a topical skin cancer home remedy preparation with commonly available ingredients that will duplicate the success of Cymilium. The major ingredients of Cymilium useful for skin cancer are believed to be ammonia, aloe vera gel, and pancreatin. Stearic acid and urea could also play important roles. I really do not know which of the ingredients of Cymilium are essential and which can be left out. Use this information at your own risk

There are many sources of pancreatin enzymes available that could be used in topical preparations. One easy-to-use and readily obtainable pancreatin source is Alcon Opti-free SupraClens, an enzymatic cleaning solution to remove protein on contact lenses. SupraClens comes as a liquid in a small dropper bottle for about $6 at almost any supermarket or pharmacy in the US, and is also available worldwide. Powdered enzymes in gelatin caplet form, such as Pancreatin by Now Foods or another product with the same name by Twinlabs, are particularly easy to use by opening the caplet. Source Naturals Pancreatin 8X is my current favorite potent brand in a gelatin caplet because it is inexpensive and potent. Wobenzym makes a high quality and widely available pancreatin enzyme supplement.  Enzyme supplements will be less expensive and probably more effective to use in topical preparations over the long term than the SupraClens drops. Also consider including enzymes from multiple sources to mitigate concerns about potency.

Aloe vera gel is widely available at pharmacies, supermarkets, and vitamin specialty stores. Pick a brand without added alcohol, such as Panama Jack Green Ice, Trader Joe's, or Aloe 80. Aloe vera gel products often have added urea which should help their effectiveness.

Household ammonia used for cleaning and disinfecting can be found in half gallon bottles (64 fl oz) for about $2 at almost any supermarket in the US. If you desire a source of ammonia intended for human skin contact, consider another insect bite remedy named Afterbite by Tender Corporation. Afterbite comes in a little plastic tube about the same size and shape of a ballpoint pen, seals tightly, and disperses single drops.

A moisturizing skin lotion can be used to supply stearic acid and many of the remaining ingredients of Cymilium, such as Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Naturals or Jergen's Shea Butter lotion. Stearic acid is a fatty acid often used in soaps and cosmetics. Cocoa butter contains very high amounts of stearic acid. Check the ingredients of any skin lotions you may already have.

Here is an example of how these ingredients could be combined into a topical formulation.. This topical formulation is very experimental and should be considered cautiously.

  • Start by buying SupraClens contact lens protein remover or pancreatin enzymes in gelatin capsules (Source Naturals (preferred), Twinlabs, Now Foods, Wobenzym). The capsules are cheaper to use and are likely much more potent. SupraClens comes with a contact lens case that is handy to mix, store, and carry the ingredients.
  • Remove one cover of the contact lens case and add a glob of aloe vera gel. Find a brand without added alcohol.
  • Add a few (0 to 25) drops of household ammonia. For reference, Cymilium had an ammonia concentration of 3% which is similar to household ammonia (3 to 5%), so that household ammonia should be prominent if the goal is to mimic Cymilium.
  • Add a few (0 to 6) drops of SupraClens or a pancreatin enzyme dietary supplement (Source Naturals Pancreatin 8x preferred).   If using enzyme supplements, start with less than a capsule. It is a good idea to leave out the pancreatin on the first application to check for any reaction from the other ingredients.
  • Add some plant based saturated fat (stearic acid). This can come from cocoa butter, shea butter, or skin lotion (Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Naturals or Jergens Shea Butter). A bit of plant derived saturated fat seems to improve the potency.
  • Stir it up with a Q-tip or a finger.
  • Seal the cap tightly when not in use to prevent the ammonia from evaporating.  Mix up new batches frequently.

The mixture was applied to the affected skin frequently, at least 3 times a day, with a Q-tip or a finger. If using a finger, rinse it after each application to avoid irritation over time. Treatments were continued for several weeks. Small batches were used because the mixture has an unknown shelf life.

Some people have applied the mixture to just the affected area, others to a much wider area. Applying to a wider area can be troubling if there is widespread skin cancer. Often, the extent of the skin cancer is underestimated, so it initially looks as if the topical treatment is making matters worse. Additionally, any side effects such as nausea will be worse if attempting to treat too much too soon. The pancreatin can react strongly with skin cancer after a single application, resulting in redness, swelling, and itching. Itching can be alleviated by applying a product called Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion. It generally takes about five days to become convinced that the treatment is working and things are getting better instead of worse.

There are ways to make the mixture more potent but with the possibility of a stronger reaction.  One of these is to add a skin lotion called Refresh sold at Trader Joes. Refresh contains orange oil that aids penetration and has cancer fighting properties by itself.  Orange oil allows the topical remedy to reach deeper into the skin.  Also consider including coconut oil and melatonin in the mixture. Coconut oil seems to make the mixture much more potent, possibly by causing cell membranes to swell. Chewing melatonin tablets into a paste and spitting it into to mixture also adds amylase enzymes from the saliva. Both amylase enzymes and lauric acid in coconut oil should allow the pancreatin enzymes better access to the defective protein structures of the cancer cell.  Coconut and orange oils can be applied separately from the pancreatin mixture.  If too strong a reaction occurs, rinse the skin thoroughly with warm water. See experiences with skin cancer home remdies in the  Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forums.


I do not know how effective Cymilium or a preparation that mimics Cymilium is for other people. I have received some positive feedback, but not a lot. People have written to me about success using one third household ammonia, one third aloe vera gel, and one third skin lotion along with pancreatin. Others have used only aloe vera and pancreatin. Still others have used only straight household ammonia twice a day for a month. Still others have indicated that Cymilium worked for them. So within these ingredients is the potential for many variations that could work, but it needs to be stressed that Cymilium or any homemade preparation is experimental with unknown risks and benefits.

The best procedures for using the mixture including when and how to discontinue treatments are not known. Contact with the eyes must be avoided, especially if using ammonia! Always have a source of water available to flush the eyes if necessary.

Probably the most prudent approach would be to start with minimal amounts of ammonia and pancreatin and increase slowly. However, there was not a "China syndrome" with any of these ingredients for me even at full strength. That is, applying household ammonia or aloe vera gel or SupraClens at full strength to skin did not seem troublesome even if left unwashed. But everyone is different and the ingredients could cause problems for you.

Be sure to see the Natural skin cancer healing: What to expect page as a swelling reaction should eventually be expected if cancer is present . Also see my statement of caution and disclaimer. Please realize this home remedy is very experimental, immature, and may have undesired results or side effects. Consider using this information at your own risk.

I have concerns about the toxicity of ammonia in the above preparation and advise caution. It is very important not to get any of these ingredients (especially ammonia) in the eyes. Even dilute ammonia can cause permanent harm if it contacts the eyes. If eye contact does occur, rinse immediately with water for several minutes and get prompt medical attention! Apply only when a source of water is available for an emergency rinse. See the warnings that come with these products for details! Also note that ammonia comes in a wide variety of strengths and purity that may not be safe to use on the skin. Concentrated ammonia can cause skin burns. Use of any ammonia product not intended for skin contact is potentially dangerous. If you are considering topical application of pancreatin or ammonia, be sure to look at their material safety data sheets (MSDS), as there are serious risks to consider!

Coconut oil and melatonin topical skin cancer home remedy


topical skin cancer home remedy ingredients

Ingredients for the topical melatonin and coconut oil skin cancer home remedy

This skin cancer home remedy is adapted from a topical breast cancer remedy described on the Grouppe Kurosawa website. They combined the principle ingredients coconut milk, an extract from green tea called EGCG, and melatonin, a hormone made by the pituitary gland. The ingredients were combined in an isopropyl alcohol base for topical cancer treatments. It may be unwise to meddle with success, but I am still leery of isopropyl alcohol based on the assertions of Hulda Clark that link it to cancer.

The version of the skin cancer remedy described here has many good attributes. It is simple to use. Its ingredients are readily available and inexpensive.  It can be spread on large areas without affecting normal skin, ensuring adequate coverage. It appears to work gently albeit slowly.  It works in harmony with mechanisms already present in the body. It can easily be adapted and controlled by the user. Best of all, as far as I am aware, neither coconut oil nor melatonin have safety concerns regarding topical or oral use so it can be used indefinitely.  Regardless, please realize this home remedy is very experimental, immature, and may have undesired results or side effects. Consider using this information at your own risk.

Coconut oil is a terrific candidate for topical skin cancer treatments. Coconut oil has a variety of saturated fats, several of which have been determined to have anticancer benefits. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid (found abundantly in human milk) that enhances the performance of tumor necrosis (killing) factor present in the body by 60 times.  When it gets taken up into the mitochondria, lauric acid causes the mitochondrial membranes to swell, thereby making them unstable. This further promotes programmed cell death or apoptosis.  Approximately 6-7% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are capric acid, another medium chain fatty acid, which has a similar beneficial functions to lauric acid. 

About 9% of coconut oil is palmitic acid,  a saturated fat that is very toxic to damaged tissues and promotes programmed cell death. Palmitic acid is also the direct precursor of ceramide, the so-called death lipid. Palmitic acid simply makes cancer cells unstable. Palmitic acid consumed orally is normally broken down by the digestive system before reaching a cancer cell target, but applied topically it can be all business. Coconut oil is often available in ethnic food sections of supermarkets for about $4 a bottle and at health food stores for a bit more.

Melatonin is secreted from the brain at night during the dark and is a natural anti-cancer agent. As we age, levels of melatonin decrease as hydrocortisone levels increase. Melatonin is a natural anti-hydrocortisone agent, and this is very important in the treatment of any cancer. Although glucocorticoids like hydrocortisone are used to treat leukemias and lymphomas, they will promote the growth of other cancers. They accomplish this by activating a number of anti-death pathways that allows cancer cells to escape programmed cell death.   Melatonin, by blocking hydrocortisone binding, promotes cancer cell death and healing through new normal tissue growth.  Melatonin has high affinity for the receptors on the membranes and in the nucleus of all cells so it is acting as a true hormone when it targets a cell. Melatonin inhibits the activation of the 5-LOX gene.  When highly metastatic human prostate cancer cells are treated with 5-LOX inhibitors, they die within 2 hours.

The body makes about 0.3mg of melatonin on a good night's sleep. Supplements often contain 3 to 10 times this amount with 3mg being typical. Expect to pay about $6 to $10 a bottle for melatonin. Applying melatonin topically can result in relatively huge dosages to the skin. This high dose is one reason it works so well in topical cancer treatments but is also a reason to be cautious.

Applying coconut oil and melatonin: The simplest technique is to chew a tablet or two of melatonin but not swallow it. Instead, spit the ground residue into the palm of the hand. Next a tablespoon or so of coconut oil is added and mixed with the melatonin paste using a finger. The mixture is then applied just before sleeping by vigorously rubbing and spreading using both hands (to the entire face and scalp of the case I know). The mixture leaves the skin feeling oily but there is not much of a smell. Chewing a melatonin tablet is a convenient way to make a paste but also serves another purpose. Saliva contains amylase enzymes that can dissolve carbohydrate hairlike shafts on the surface of a cancer cell that can protect it from the body's enzyme defenses.

Other ingredients to consider adding:  Vitamin D tablets are a good candidate to include with the melatonin.  Vitamin D, produced in skin oils during sun exposure, is a powerful cancer fighter that is often lacking in skin cancer victims hiding from the sun or living in latitudes away from the equator. This is a very natural mechanism to exploit for skin cancer. Again there are very little smell or color problems associated with adding vitamin D.   Green tea extract containing EGCG is another good candidate used in the Grouppe Kurosawa preparation, but may add a green tinge and a nasty smell. The smell is not actually due to EGCG, so it may be possible to find a brand that is more agreeable to the nose. Quercitin is another candidate. Taken orally as a supplement, quercitin doesn't get through the digestive system in therapeutic amounts, but topically it can be presented to a skin cancer loudly. Quercitin adds a bright yellow tinge to the mixture (but no smell), limiting its use to nighttime.  Pomegranate extract containing ellagic acid might be a good choice.

What to expect:  This is the unknown part that will vary from person to person.  If it works, it may take a month or two to see clear results. But the healing process could be much quicker. Inflammation for several days is something I have come to expect from any cancer healing process before apparent progress. It always seems to look the worst just before it gets better. The results of using these mixtures are unknown and the risks are also unknown.

Citrus oil home remedy for skin cancer


citrus oil home remedy

This product containing the citrus oil extract d-limonene was used as a topical skin cancer home remedy. 

This skin cancer home remedy is based on oils extracted from orange peels. D-limonene is a liquid with a citrus odor and taste that constitutes about 90% of orange peel oil.  D-limonene and a closely related compound called perillyl alcohol have been the subject of many cancer and heart disease animal based studies over the past several decades.  In one study using rats, limonene caused 87 percent of advanced mammary tumors to shrink.  Animal studies also show activity of D-limonene against pancreatic, stomach, colon, skin, and liver cancers. It is said to work by inducing tumor cell apoptosis, activating carcinogen metabolizing enzymes, initiating tumor cell differentiation to a more benign type, and inhibiting cell growth regulating proteins. There are studies showing D-limonene accelerates, albeit weakly, cancer development in the presence of tumor promoting chemicals but this mechanism is believed to be unique to male rats and does not apply to humans.

Human exposure to orange oil and d-limonene is widespread.  Extracted d-limonene is used as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes, and as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages and chewing gum. It is found in beverages, ice cream and ices, candy, baked goods, gelatins and puddings, and chewing gum. A glass of orange juice contains about 20 mg of d-limonene.  It is also an effective biodegradable cleaner and degreaser.  D-limonene has a GRAS rating ("Generally Recognized As Safe") from the US FDA. Some believe higher d-limonene consumption is partly responsible for the lower cancer and heart disease benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. 

Applying d-limonene topically to human skin cancers has not been studied.  Both long and short term effects on human skin cancers are not really known.  This home remedy is certainly not without risks, some of which are mentioned here. D-limonene is considered a skin irritant probably because it removes skin oils. Organic orange oil is an available alternative to consider. People can develop allergic reactions to orange oil, although allergic reactions are less likely using the extract d-limonene. Topical exposure to orange oil makes skin photosensitive (easily sunburned) and can cause dermatitis (rash).   D-limonene is also an eye irritant.

The product used was Ecover Natural Citrus Cleaner and Degreaser.  Ecover's current web site ( does not mention this product so it may have been discontinued, but it is still widely available for sale on the internet and grocery stores for about $7 US.  Similar products from other companies are also available such as Citrisolve. For reference, the d-limonene content of the Ecover product was greater than 30%. Surfactants are added to make the product water soluble. The surfactants also probably help the d-limonene penetrate more deeply into the skin to make it more effective.

Two food grade orange oil products that could be used in place of the Ecover citrus cleaner as a source of d-limonene. The natural essential oil product from NOW Foods is cold pressed from fresh oranges. The TKO product is made from organic oranges and is available in a spray bottle. Both products cost about $5 US. The NOW label cautions "Not for internal use if undiluted." and "Reacts strongly to ultraviolet light."

While this version of the citrus oil skin cancer remedy described here has many good attributes including decisive action and low cost, it is a bit scary and painful to use. The product was applied to skin undiluted using a cotton ball as an applicator.  Applying the product to normal skin resulted in no pain even if the area was not rinsed with water. This suggests that the citrus oil cleaner could possibly be used as a diagnosis tool.

There was no immediate sensation after applying the Citrus Cleaner to a suspected skin cancer. After about a minute, a tingling was noted.  This increased in intensity to full fledged pain (like hot wax) over the next five minutes.  The pain began to diminish after about twenty minutes, and at thirty minutes was barely noticeable again. There was a strong but pleasant citrus smell that did not clear until the skin was rinsed.  The suspected skin cancer formed a crust of dead skin on the second and subsequent days that readily flaked off leaving reddened skin underneath.  After a couple of days, the pain associated with the applications was noticeably less. Eventually, the suspected skin cancer seemed to act and look as normal skin over a period of three weeks, and there was no pain associated with applying the Citrus Cleaner.

To keep a good balance between killing cancer cells and healing, it probably makes sense to apply the citrus cleaner on a weekly schedule. An example weekly schedule is to apply daily for three consecutive days and then take four days off. It would probably make sense to be very conservative the first few times if considering this home remedy by diluting the product with water and applying to a very small area. Always have a source of water and a towel available to rinse skin and eyes if necessary.

The pain may seem like a significant detriment to using this home remedy, but it possibly gives important feedback regarding diagnosis and healing progress.  The pain can be temporarily intense following the first few applications. The affected skin can become very red, but presumably only if skin cancer is present. The redness can be managed by modifying the weekly schedule example.

Although numerous subtle anticancer mechanisms are associated with d-limonene, the direct solvent action on destroying improperly formed cell membranes may be most important in topical treatments.

citrus oil home remedy

Healing progress of skin lesions on back of neck. The area was treated with one or twice daily applications of orange peel extract and less frequent applications of household ammonia. The first photo (upper left) was taken on the third day of treatment. (The resulting inflammation was more pronounced at that time than before treatment began.) The second picture (upper middle) was taken on the 6th day, the third picture (upper right) was taken on the 11th day, the fourth picture (lower left) was taken on the 18th day, the fifth picture (lower middle) was taken on the 23rd day. The last picture (lower right) shows the area became well healed on the 33rd day.

There is a combination of a d-limonene cleaner and household ammonia that has been tried with an apparent very fast response to a suspected skin cancer.  In this variation, the d-limonene cleaner was applied to the skin with a cotton ball and allowed to penetrate for about 30 minutes.  Then, household ammonia was applied with a cotton ball to the same area, scrubbing the site somewhat.  There was a brief stinging sensation associated with the application of ammonia.  The skin was thoroughly rinsed with water after about a minute.  The site immediately welted and actually hemorrhaged (bleed) slightly.  To lessen this reaction, it would probably be better to use a more diluted ammonia and water mixture. The suspected skin cancer site was well defined and bright red for about two days before healing over a week. One observation was the area of subsequent redness was unexpectedly larger than the original suspected skin cancer site. Also, another reader reported using topical lemon ammonia to cure their skin cancer in about one month, although I do not know if that product contained d-limonene.

The results of using citrus oil extracts are unknown and the risks are also unknown.    Also, the results of using topical ammonia are unknown and the risks are also unknown.  Do not get any ammonia into the eyes and have rinsing water and a towel nearby. Read all cautions on the products.  See real experiences with orange oil in the  Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forums.

Supercharging Efudex with DMSO

Efudex (fluorouracil or FU5) is a widely used prescription topical cream using a fluoride based compound that interferes with the cancer cell's ability to replicate. The use of fluorouracil  is normally limited to small skin cancers. A reader named Ernest contributed the following information on how to improve the delivery of fluorouracil to make it more effective against skin cancers. The improved delivery  potentially cuts the treatment and healing time of fluorouracil while enabling its use on larger skin cancers.

Please consider using this information entirely at your own risk. DMSO is a very effective carrier that may deliver contaminants as well as intended medicine deep within the skin. All the risks of using these ingredients may not have been disclosed.

Ernest wrote:
In the period 1998 to 2003 I have had thirteen skin cancers diagnosed and excised by surgery. Some of these were on my ears, nose and cheek and resulted in disfigurement. In January, 2004 another appeared, bleeding and not healing, about 8 mm. across, on my right ear. At this time I had the thought that if the prescription cream, Efudex, (5% 5-fluorouracil(FU)) that had been prescribed to me for an earlier case were mixed with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with its ability to carry drugs into the skin, the antimitotic (means anti cell division) action of the FU would be enhanced.

I mixed one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO and applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on my ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin. Later in 2004 I had two more bleeding sores at the junction of my ear lobes and my cheeks. These I gave the same treatment as soon as they appeared. The bleeding stopped and the sores healed without significant scabbing leaving normal skin. To date none of these three have recurred. I have been waiting for another to appear so I can have it diagnosed before I try the FU/DMSO treatment, but none have appeared.

An advantage of FU/DMSO, which I call AMC for Antimitotic Composition, is the very short number of applications needed to stop the growth of malignant cells, four for AMC versus fifty-six for Efudex alone. Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. I have never noticed any erythema (redness) from AMC in my use of it, nor any final scars.

The optimum technique for treating a skin lesion with AMC is not established. An application dries in about ten minutes, so my recommendation is to reapply it just before then, and repeat this procedure for a half hour. Finally, either wipe or wash the area or leave it until a washing later, a matter of convenience. Repeat for four days.

Efudex is a topical cream manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Costa Mesa, CA and is prescribed by dermatologists to eliminate keratoses and superficial basal cell skin cancers. It is also available in Australia as Efudix. If you do a Google Search on <Efudix +Pacific> you will see several non-prescription sources. The active ingredient in Efudex is five percent 5-fluorouracil (FU), a potent antimitotic agent.

It looks expensive, 25 gram tube for sixty plus dollars, but considering the small amount used per application and the alternative, it is cheap. My source of Efudex so far has been prescription by my dermatologist, but the URL above shows another path. The pictures presented by the URL show the trauma that may be avoided by using AMC treatment. I have yet to try using Adrucil, a five percent solution of FU, nor crystalline FU.

Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is a byproduct of the paper industry and is widely used as an industrial solvent. It is available in pet shops in some states in purities of 99+,% for use by veterinarians in topical applications. 100% DMSO is used by the bio-medical community for preserving organic specimens. The FDA has approved only its use in treating interstitial cystitis and one area of brain research. In my research I have used only the 99.7% veterinarian grade from a local pet shop with no side effects detected . The URL, <> is the address to an excellent discourse on DMSO. Another URL for a good overview on DMSO is: < The online market offering DMSO is a jungle, and I do not trust any of them. The only DMSO I use, from a local pet supply store, comes in a white opaque plastic bottle. It is labeled <99.7% DMSO Pure, not for Drug Use, not approved for human use,> one pint size and cost $9.95. The labeling also says " distributed by Solvent Sales, Inc., Bensenville, IL. This DMSO also may be available in local health food stores and pet stores.

This DMSO as AMC has been spread widely several times on myself over two fungal infections and one other person who had many red itchy skin areas diagnosed as psoriasis, but which I think may have been fungal. Neither of us had any adverse effects with results being ordinary skin within two to three weeks.

In preparing the AMC mixture at home the use of common plastic kitchen nested measuring spoons is convenient. My sizes run from One Eighth Teaspoon to One Tablespoon. I generally measure one full teaspoon of DMSO into a one ounce vial that has an air-tight cap. Next I fill a quarter teaspoon spoon with Efudex. Then using an artist's paint brush, (No. 6, the ferrule is about 1 mm. diameter) I brush the Efudex from the spoon into the DMSO and stir until the mix is uniform. Whether it is desirable to add one quarter teaspoon of water to the AMC mix, diluting the DMSO down to 80 %, improving the penetration of the DMSO, I do not know. Better DMSO penetration does not necessarily mean more effective AMC. I do not know how stable the AMC mix is but I have used it four months after mixing and found it still effective.

AMC treatment caused no significant pain. In fact, about a minute or two after it is applied there may be a very slight stinging sensation for a few minutes. Other than that there is no sensation.

Some words of caution: the caveats for Efudex apply to AMC; avoid the eyes, lips and other body orifices. Allergic reaction is very rare, but be alert with the first use. Also, because DMSO is a solvent there is the problem of the storage container and its cap. Glass is ideal, though the clear hard plastic used for vials appears unaffected. Caps should give a vapor tight closure and contact with the AMC should be avoided.

AMC is very effective against fungal infections. One application usually is sufficient.

See real experiences with Efudex and DMSO in the  Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forums.

Other commonly used topical skin cancer treatments

There are already several recognized topical treatments for skin cancer. Skin cancer salves using zinc chloride along with bloodroot have been used successfully outside of conventional medicine. From what I have read, these salves can be effective but can be painful to use, are difficult to control, and can possibly also harm healthy skin. 

The topical prescription cream Aldara, originally introduced as a treatment for genital warts, has been recently approved by the FDA in the United States as a treatment for skin cancer. Aldara works by stimulating the immune system to attack the cancer. Aldara is an attractive approach but is expensive. Some people have reported bad reactions from using Aldara on skin cancers. Some of the reactions may be due to engaging a cancer that is much more extensive than is apparent. This is a common issue with all topical skin cancer treatments. It is also a reason why surgery often fails to cure skin cancers.

Curaderm is a nonprescription product derived from an eggplant variety found in Australia.

P.D.Q Herbal is designed to enhance the ability of the body's natural immune system comprised of white blood cells, lymphocytes, T-cells and macrophages to attack abnormal skin cells while not affecting normal cells.  PDQ uses undisclosed ingredients comprised of a blend of herbs and other organic matter (tree bark, leaves and roots). Costing around $90 for a bottle with 40 doses, PDQ is a thick oily like substance that has to be applied once in the eve and once in the morning. The lesion will turn white over the next few days before turning into thick scab that will gradually flaking off over next week or two. On the one case reported to me, PDQ worked well on a few small satellite lesions. A larger lesion was so thick it could not get to the root. It would scab and then slowly grow back.

Other topical treatment candidates to consider include creams containing ellagic acid from raspberries.  Coenzyme Q10 has been used as a cancer treatment with some success. Coenzyme Q10 can be applied at high concentrations to the skin by puncturing a softgel capsule and spreading the liquid on the skin. Some coenzyme Q10 supplements are in powder form. These could be mixed with aloe vera gel and spread topically. Paw paw is an extract from the graviola fruit that is another topical candidate. Many of the other nutritional supplements described in the skin cancer strategies could also be considered to be applied topically. Several other skin cancer cream recipes are available in the topical skin cancer treatment forum.

The fact that skin cancer is accessible for direct topical treatments is a unique opportunity that does not exist for most cancers. Topical treatments can be expected to work faster than oral supplementation because the active ingredient delivered to the site is concentrated. Consider using other strategies in addition to topical treatments. I think it is especially important to mitigate body acidity with antacids, an alkalizing diet, and mineral supplements, as the reactions that kill the cancer cells may generate acid products which deplete the enzymes throughout the body and reduce the capability for oxygen transport by the blood..

These descriptions of topical formulations are given for information purposes only. The formulation proportions are supplied for example only. The formulations should not be presumed to be effective or even safe to use. The formulations may change or be removed without notice. These topical formulations have known and possibly unknown risks for the user that may or may not have been disclosed on this web site. Read all warnings supplied with these products before use. Any feedback from experimenters regarding the success or failure of topical treatments is always appreciated. A good place to share experiences, results, or questions is on the Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forums.

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This information is intended to heighten awareness of potential health care alternatives and should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.

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