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sldavid

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  10:04:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I still have a pink area on my face from a treatment I ended in October. The pink has faded quite a bit and I expect in another month it will be undetectable. I use a liquid concealor on the area that blends to my skin tone and am happy with the results.
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William Diehl

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  18:42:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Longdrop

Hi again FlatladyB. I can't let your post go by! Efudex at $350 a tube? In Australia it cost me about $15 with a doctor's prescription. The active ingredient of Efudex (Fluorouracil) is one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs and was patented in the 50's so any patents have long expired surely. The US health system really needs a shake up if Efudex at $350 is an outcome!

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William Diehl

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  18:47:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Longdrop

Hi again FlatladyB. I can't let your post go by! Efudex at $350 a tube? In Australia it cost me about $15 with a doctor's prescription. The active ingredient of Efudex (Fluorouracil) is one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs and was patented in the 50's so any patents have long expired surely. The US health system really needs a shake up if Efudex at $350 is an outcome!

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William Diehl

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  18:55:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FlaLadyB

I have a question about the cost of efudex. Has anyone found a reputable less expensive place to order it? The price here is $350 a tube with no insurance. The generic is still $250. My Dr. says some of his patients found it for $150. I will have to go hunting once I decide to do it. Not ready yet and its too hot in Fla.

Also, do you use one tube, or more?


I bought a tube of Efudex in Tiajuana, Mex. for $15
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JackRussell

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2011 :  18:07:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have a prescription then go on the internet and order it from Canada. We do that here in the US and save a ton, but unfortunately the gov has really tightened down on that; The big pharmaceuticals, I guess, weren't raping us enough already. I would tell you to order it from India but doing that is a serious crap shoot that's not worth the gamble. - Oh, and as I said in all my earlier posts; go a full 30 days minimum. Everyone here is acting like spoiled babies - wah wah, and give up after 3 or fewer weeks. You apply a really thin coat, twice a day for 30 days. You can rinse the face immediately before applying but leave it alone after application. Don't put any bandages, creams, petroleum jelly or makeup over it. And after, don't put anything on it like these idiots here are talking about. Leave it the H alone. These guys are complaining about being pink a month after they fininsh applying it. I just left mine alone and was >75% ok by day 30. One thing I have noticed is someone in my office did it for only 20 days and he now has kind of lumpy sking 30 days later. You see, he didn't go the distance (at least 30 days) and he has left partially damaged skin cells beneath the surface. He wah wah wah the whole time he was doing it. He stopped too early and now is getting what he deserves, even though I told him before he started to go 30 at least and go the distance. What a bunch of cry babies. Suck it up! We're talking 30 days that might just save your life and save you from a horrible death. Plus it's the greatest skin rejuvination ever.
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JackRussell

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2011 :  18:13:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have a prescription then go on the internet and order it from Canada. We do that here in the US and save a ton, but unfortunately the gov has really tightened down on that; The big pharmaceuticals, I guess, weren't raping us enough already. I would tell you to order it from India but doing that is a serious crap shoot that's not worth the gamble. - Oh, and as I said in all my earlier posts; go a full 30 days minimum. Everyone here is acting like spoiled babies - wah wah, and give up after 3 or fewer weeks. You apply a really thin coat, twice a day for 30 days. You can rinse the face immediately before applying but leave it alone after application. Don't put any bandages, creams, petroleum jelly or makeup over it. And after, don't put anything on it like these idiots here are talking about. Leave it the H alone. These guys are complaining about being pink a month after they fininsh applying it. I just left mine alone and was >75% ok by day 30. One thing I have noticed is someone in my office did it for only 20 days and he now has kind of lumpy sking 30 days later. You see, he didn't go the distance (at least 30 days) and he has left partially damaged skin cells beneath the surface. He wah wah wah the whole time he was doing it. He stopped too early and now is getting what he deserves, even though I told him before he started to go 30 at least and go the distance. What a bunch of cry babies. Suck it up! We're talking 30 days that might just save your life and save you from a horrible death. Plus it's the greatest skin rejuvination ever.
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BigD

Australia
8 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2011 :  20:34:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have at times used efudex for less than 14 days at the advice of the doctor, both times it has left me with red dots (damaged looking skin) as though the job hadn't been completed. Has anyone had this and then gone back and re-treated for a longer period and had the red dots disappear?
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gebgeroboys

Philippines
2 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  06:50:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have to use it for at least 3 weeks. It takes about 2 months for all the red to go away.
quote:
Originally posted by BigD

I have at times used efudex for less than 14 days at the advice of the doctor, both times it has left me with red dots (damaged looking skin) as though the job hadn't been completed. Has anyone had this and then gone back and re-treated for a longer period and had the red dots disappear?

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mickapoo

4 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2011 :  07:37:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This link is a lengthy photo journal of a female's journey through the 4 week Efudex treatment:

www.hybriddesign.net/efudex

Everyone is different. I didn't really look any different afterwards, but I knew that it zapped all the precancerous lesions which is all that was important to me. I did have some scarring though, my fault, it was from where I picked at a scab.
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cmurf

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2012 :  17:29:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

I am currently using Efudex and am very happy with the results BUT my doctor has a different approach. I am using it twice a day but for only two days a week and will continue for several weeks. I have finished a 7 week session, had a 2 week break to see how it's gone and am now back on another 7 - 8 week session. I certainly have a reaction and the areas become red but have had no major, severe reaction so have been able to continue going out etc. Perhaps my initial problem wasn't as severe as others but I have been having various other treatments for several years with good results but the problem areas kept returning after a few years.My doctor has said he doesn't need to subject me to the intense severe treatment - he believes he'll get the same results by treating over a longer period. He is highly respected in his field. Like all forum posts this is my personal experience that is working for me and may not be appropriate for others but I have posted this to show that there is another way to use this treatment. I am very happy with the results but who knows what will be happening next year!

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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2012 :  19:00:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just in case anyone is interested in my post of 3 November I treated a spot on my ear that had been frozen twice at some expense but kept coming back. Twice a day for three weeks and now all gone. Well done Efudex
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Jamesone

Australia
0 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2012 :  04:21:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My first experience with efudix was about eight years ago. It was suggested to me by a dermatologist to heal up irritating dry skin patches along my hair line. It was suggested that I spread it liberally along the affected area once a day. Did this, the pain was terrible so after eight days I gave it away. Subsequently the redness went and with it the irritating dry skin. Just recently the same symptoms turned up again. My Gp suggested a couple of cream treatments which were not sucsessful. Then went to a skin clinic, it was suggested that I give the efudix another go. I have now been on it for 8 days and will now stop. One major difference this time is that I am only tackling a couple of spots at a time twice a day. I only use a small amount on a cotton bud. Yes is is still painful but not nearly as bad as the first time I used it.
I am a 78 year old male in remmission from Lymphoma, so quite honestly I am not overly fussed about the end result using efudix. I would suggest that in this day and age there is no need to suffer the pain that efudix can bring on. (ask your Doc for a strong pain killer, I use oxynorm) There are many different skin types among us. Be sure that you get the right advice according to you skin type.
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  01:08:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hawksworth, is your Doctor easy to see? I'd call or see him to see if he can tell you if you are having an allergic reaction or not. Given that it's just your face that is swollen, I suspect its not. My ears had very little reaction. Just one spot on one of them. My chin swelled up and was VERY painful. I also had oozing, but it took two weeks for that to happen to me. Everyone is a little different. Believe me, I know how much it hurts - it's still fresh in my mind and you wonder how you'll make it another day - let alone two weeks.

Remember that for each application you miss, the Docs generally want to see another DAY as "make-up".

Have you tried applying Aquaphor to "loosen" up the tightness? It really helps!

I shaved all through my treatment. You may prefer an electric shaver. I used a triple blade disposable. I wouldn't have used anything less. I made sure my beard was VERY wet and used a gel. Noxema, which I usually use, was out of the question as it stung too much. It took a while and my chin was very slow going as it was inflamed and sore. But it had the added benefit of sloughing off dead skin as well. My beard is quite thick and it would have been difficult to get the cream down to the skin in a few days, and I would have had to use a LOT more of it.

Pics, in case you're interested at: efudexed.blogspot.com

- Edited to answer questions about shaving.

Edited by - deruo on 01/26/2012 01:20:44
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  16:51:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ken and thank you very much for your reply. I found following the experiences of others with photos to be very helpful when I went through it, thus the reason for my blog.

I am a huge advocate of Aquaphor for itching and tightness/pain relief. Well, you still get the itching, but it's not as bad. A moist itching, if you will. It really helps so I wouldn't wait before using it. Just make sure you wait several hours after the Efudex application before using it. If you're like me, you'll wonder why you waited so long to use it! ;-) And if you have access to a Dr and or Staff, don't be afraid to use them! Thats what they're there for. I got a referral to a new dermo and that appointment isn't until May! The Canadian "free" health care system at work.

Hang in there. We know it's very tough, but its got to be done and much better than doing nothing. We're here if you need us!

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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  19:15:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep at it Ken, sounds like you have a bad case but remember the alternative is likely to have been worse (eg regular ineffective freezes and lots of expensive surgery). I found shaving in the shower was tolerable with a triple blade and before I put the Efudex on but I have a light beard. In some of my research I noted that the treatment is exacerbated by sun exposure but that there is some evidence to suggest that sun exposure also makes Efudex more effective. I kept out of the sun though!
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sldavid

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  20:04:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A few weeks ago I went to my dermatologist and he gave me a clean bill of health on my face which is the only area I have used Efudex.
It has taken a long time (a few years applying it to several different areas) but so worth the end result. I don't expect to ever have the need to re-order the product again.
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Cheeno

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  23:11:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cmurf

Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

I am currently using Efudex and am very happy with the results BUT my doctor has a different approach. I am using it twice a day but for only two days a week and will continue for several weeks. I have finished a 7 week session, had a 2 week break to see how it's gone and am now back on another 7 - 8 week session. I certainly have a reaction and the areas become red but have had no major, severe reaction so have been able to continue going out etc. Perhaps my initial problem wasn't as severe as others but I have been having various other treatments for several years with good results but the problem areas kept returning after a few years.My doctor has said he doesn't need to subject me to the intense severe treatment - he believes he'll get the same results by treating over a longer period. He is highly respected in his field. Like all forum posts this is my personal experience that is working for me and may not be appropriate for others but I have posted this to show that there is another way to use this treatment. I am very happy with the results but who knows what will be happening next year!





Just noticed your question. I have been back to my doctor and I am to repeat the procedure for another 8 weeks - twice a day, two days a week - to a couple of areas. I'm happy with most of the results but there are a couple of patches that need more treatment. When he looked at my face he was very happy with what he could see. Because I am going to Greece for 2 months in May and June I will not start the treatment until after that - in my Winter months. He is happy to leave it til then. I have no problems repeating - certainly did not find it too uncomfortable or unattractive
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Cheeno

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  23:44:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just noticed your question. I completed my second treatment of twice a day, two days a week for approximately 8 - 9 weeks and am pretty happy with the results. My doctor is very happy! I do need to repeat the treatment on the bridge of my nose - scaly area that hasnt cleared and another patch that is a new area - but will wait until my Winter time as I find I became very sensitive to sun and heat. I certainly did not have any negative side affects but at times wonder whether it would be better to just get it over and done with in a 3 week session - not sure on that though as the descriptions here from others sound pretty awful.Good luck. I'll be interested inhearing how you go

quote:
Originally posted by cmurf

Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

I am currently using Efudex and am very happy with the results BUT my doctor has a different approach. I am using it twice a day but for only two days a week and will continue for several weeks. I have finished a 7 week session, had a 2 week break to see how it's gone and am now back on another 7 - 8 week session. I certainly have a reaction and the areas become red but have had no major, severe reaction so have been able to continue going out etc. Perhaps my initial problem wasn't as severe as others but I have been having various other treatments for several years with good results but the problem areas kept returning after a few years.My doctor has said he doesn't need to subject me to the intense severe treatment - he believes he'll get the same results by treating over a longer period. He is highly respected in his field. Like all forum posts this is my personal experience that is working for me and may not be appropriate for others but I have posted this to show that there is another way to use this treatment. I am very happy with the results but who knows what will be happening next year!



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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2012 :  01:08:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Hawksworth. Glad to hear the swelling is subsiding. The best bit is that after a month or so from stopping Efudex you'll look ten years younger as your wrinkles will be hugely reduced (although mine are slowly returning!) Cheers
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3coolcats

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2012 :  00:42:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So glad to have found this site. I was feeling very alone until now. I'm 43, white, blonde hair, fair skin. Went to the doc about a spot on my nose that kept bleeding. She very casually prescribed Efudex. She said she has used it herself and she was much fairer than me. I'm now on Day 15 and I'm pretty scary looking. I'm using the 5% and told to use it once a day for 2-4 weeks. The doc didn't say when to stop. I figure I'll go as long as I can stand it by what you are all saying on here. My doc didn't even suggest a follow up visit. I am doing my whole face even though my nose was the issue. Interesting enough, my nose isn't all that red/scabby. It's my chin and cheek bone area that is terrible. And, my chin area is my hardest hit wrinkle area so I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that that is the part that Efudex is hitting the hardest. I wore sunscreen my whole life, but I guess I didn't do a great job covering up or something. It's pretty sore especially to eat b/c of the cracking around my mouth. While I don't like the pain, the isolation is the hardest for me. I won't go out looking like this, but I'm so lonely. Glad my husband and kids are great, but I miss being able to go out and about. My doc never said I had any cancers of any kind so I think I voluntarily put myself into this position. I'm hoping for a face cancerous free in the future and I'm hoping for fewer wrinkles. I appreciate everyone's comments b/c this is a big, scary deal, in my opinion.
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3coolcats

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2012 :  00:45:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm 43, white, blonde hair, fair skin. Went to the doc about a spot on my nose that kept bleeding. She very casually prescribed Efudex. I'm now on Day 15 and I'm pretty scary looking. I'm using the 5% and told to use it once a day for 2-4 weeks. The doc didn't say when to stop. My doc didn't even suggest a follow up visit. I am doing my whole face even though my nose was the issue. Interesting enough, my nose isn't all that red/scabby. It's my chin and cheek bone area that is terrible. And, my chin area is my hardest hit wrinkle area so I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that that is the part that Efudex is hitting the hardest. It's pretty sore especially to eat b/c of the cracking around my mouth. While I don't like the pain, the isolation is the hardest for me. I won't go out looking like this, but I'm so lonely. Glad my husband and kids are great, but I miss being able to go out and about. My doc never said I had any cancers of any kind so I think I voluntarily put myself into this position.
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Jamesone

Australia
0 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2012 :  16:20:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi 3coolcats, seems you are putting yourself through hell. It seems that those of us with fair complexions have trouble with using efudex. My own experience was that when I got to the same situation as you describe I stopped using efudex until my face looked normal again. About 6 months later I started again but only in one small spot at a time applying efudex once a day every second day for two weeks . Then I would apply to another small area for the same period.
Hope this is of some help.
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  10:41:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello 3coolcats, sorry for the late reply... your situation sounds much like mine. Another fair-skinned person here.

My chin was the worst area on my face and I didn't think it would be affected at all. The tops of my ears, which I figured would be horrific, had no reaction aside from a very small spot on one. I've rarely sported a moustache during my lifetime, but the outline of where it would be was virtually unaffected, but my chin and jawline?... ouch! Have you tried putting Aquaphor on the cracked skin around the corners of your mouth? It really makes a world of difference in pain levels when you're trying to eat.

I thought I'd add an update as I had my first followup yesterday since I did my treatment last fall. The Dr. said I hit "a home run" as he can't see any spots that need further attention at this time, so it would appear that all the pain, sleepless nights and isolation are worth it. I know its hard to think this way when you're going through it!
I now follow up with him in 4 months.
I also offered the intern that saw me first yesterday the following: "if you ever prescribe this stuff to a patient, PLEASE offer them something stronger than Tylenol, and prescribe them something to help them sleep. Until you go through it yourself, you can't imagine the discomfort" I showed him some photos and all he said was "wow".

Wow indeed.

Edited by - deruo on 03/07/2012 10:46:10
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3coolcats

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  13:03:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the double post before. The site was giving me trouble and I though it was b/c I was over the text limit.

I've now made it to 3 weeks. Aiming to complete the entire 4 weeks. Unless you are not bothered by people's stares, I don't now how anyone can go out in public looking like this. I dropped my daughter off at the post office to do an errand for me and just sitting in the car brought me stares. Also, I had a friend who told me that I was over-reacting about my face and told me it was probably not as bad as I think. So, I sent her a picture. Her reply was, "OMG". Nice, huh?

I'm really hoping that once I stop this medicine next Wednesday, that there will be a remarkable recovery. My husband sent me flowers so that was really sweet. This is definitely not an easy road. It hasn't interfered with my sleeping too much (and I'm a light sleeper), but it has affected it somewhat. I wake up b/c my face is either burning or laying on the scabbing just hurts, but I change position and it seems to help.

It's very hard not to pick at the scabs. I picked a tiny piece off b/c I could see it and it was driving me crazy. I'm sorry I did b/c it stings now.

Everytime I see my teenage neighbor lying in the sunshine wanting to tan, I want to run over to her and show her my zombie face. She might not lay there anymore. She's more fair than I am.

Deruo - Regarding your moustache, I think it's interesting that the hair protected your skin so well too. I have worn my forehead covered by hair my whole life and it doesn't have one speck of red! Hair helps! LOL And, I do agree on the Aquaphor. It's provides instant relief.



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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  13:21:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
3coolcats, sorry I wasn't clear. I never had that much hair covering the moustache area because I never really liked them. That area was clear. But my scalp, which I figured would be really bad as I haven't had hair there for years either was also clear.

Re your neighbor. Go ahead and do it. I doubt it would make much of an impact. A friend of mine who is blond and fair saw first hand what I went through, and even with that and all the lecturing I've been doing on sunscreens and THAT racket, she still sits out in the sun baking herself with minimal protection. You can lead a horse to water....
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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  16:31:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JennT

I am scheduled for the Mohs procedure on my face in a couple weeks to remove SCC on my face. I have treated it twice with efudex and it has come back each time, worse than it was before. Any advice on having the Mohs procedure?



I suggest having a plastic surgeon lined up to perform any corrective surgery needed. I had mohs performed by dermatologist in the morning. When I returned to the plastic surgeon that afternoon, I was shocked to see a crater on my cheekbone area the size of a quarter. I had no idea the derm would have to take so much. The plastic surgeon filled in with surrounding tissue. The incision was cut to blend into my laugh lines so not to have that "nicked" out look. He did a wonderful job. It's been 11 years ago and you can barely see any scar even without makeup. Good luck to you!
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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  17:16:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi. I'm into my 11th day using Efudex and seeing more spots appear every day. I'm taking pictures and documenting my process daily so I can see results. PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.
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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  17:18:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi. I'm into my 11th day using Efudex and seeing more spots appear every day. I'm taking pictures and documenting my process daily so I can see results. PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.
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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  17:21:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  17:34:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tmilliner, that is, unfortunately, normal. Please check with your Doctor because the severe red skin is evidence that the efudex is "killing" off bad cells. I would not stop treatment without a Doctors okay. If you skip a day, you'll probably have to add it on at the end. It's not particularly attractive on either sex, but if its red, it means theres a need for the cream to be put there. If you haven't already, please look into getting some Aquaphor (by Eucerin). It's greasy, but it really helps with the pain of cracked skin and loosens things up.
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3coolcats

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2012 :  09:14:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.

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3coolcats

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2012 :  11:10:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know how long the skin is photo sensitive after cream application course ends? A week? I mean, I WILL wear my sunscreen, but wondering when it's safe to go out into daylight? Thanks!
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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2012 :  11:41:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks. I'll try the Aquaphor. I've tried vaseline and CeraVe and still having a hard time talking and eating because the skin keeps hardening again.

quote:
Originally posted by 3coolcats

tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.



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gebgeroboys

Philippines
2 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  03:18:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deruo

I'm on day 19 today.
I don't know if I can take another week of applying this stuff twice a day. My skin is raw and the pain in my forehead is unbelievable. Aquaphor helps, but you have to endure 2 hours of not having it on before you can apply it.

I finally found some Aquaphor here in Toronto (at Shoppers Drug Mart and apparently London Drugs in Canada also carries it.

My dermo told me to do 30 days on my forehead. But he also said that when I get blistering that I should quit - not necessarily wait until day 30. I've been doing Aquaphor and Tylenol but it's just not helping that much. I'm miserable and want to quit.

Getting an appointment with a dermatologist is almost impossible here. You either get one that tries to sell Botox or other treatments, or someone who is never available (like my guy) He only said he wanted to see me about 2 months after I finished treatment (Feb)

Any suggestions or hints on how to get through the next week to ten days?

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tmilliner

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  11:18:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Aquaphor has helped a great deal. The doctor's office said I should try CeraVe, but I found it to not relieve the pain or tightness and the itching became unbearable. I had to wash it off immediately. I'm on my 3rd day of healing after two weeks of treatment. The worst patches of dried skin have sloughed off in the shower. Just thin layers of dried skin are still peeling and flaking. I have some itching, but not too bad.

I really feel for you and others having to go beyond two weeks. I got the cream too close to my eyes and although I've never had botox, I felt the soreness and pain and they became so stiff.

Take care. I will be watching for your updates.
quote:
Originally posted by 3coolcats

tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.



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blsnbelles

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2012 :  20:55:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

6 year melanoma survivor. Dr prescribed Fluorouracil for 2x's a day for 2 wks on my face. Same story everytime I went to the Dermo constant freezing off "bad" areas it was just getting to be too much and not always getting the whole area. So my new Dr said to do this. I'm on day 15, my first day w/o the cream. So far either I have a high tolerance for pain or I'm a very mild case but I haven't experienced real pain or sleepless nights. I'm uncomfortable and it's a pain in the rear but that is about it.

What I have felt is, since the first application, a tingle then I gradually started to feel a sunburn type pain that today is feeling it's worst and starting to burn like a bad sunburn. I also started to feel a mild itch, which sometimes feels like a hair on my face and sometimes like ants crawling under my skin. I never touched my face with the cream on and used a soft dry washcloth to tap my face and stop the itch. For me it isn't a scratch itch but touching it seems to stop it.

The first week my face pretty much stayed the same but you can't wear make up so it's strange walking around plain. I did get a sore on my right eyebrow that we knew was a bad area because that is where I didn't want a "white spot" on my eyebrow. Started to get a few little other sores but not many. The sores seem to be under my skin. And my face is puffy/swollen but not much.

The second week I was showing more signs of redness, sores, tiny under the skin red sores. By days 12-14 I was showing more hot areas manly at the sides of my nostrils, between my eyes and chin. My checks seem to be OK at the moment.

I went out in public today wearing a hat because life makes me.I'm amazed at how many people out there know about this treatment and understand it. I feel proud that I can at 55 get rid of the damage I did as a kid in the 60's and 70's and seeing how dark a tan I could get... the darker the better. Baby Oil, iodine, Hershey's Cocoa Butter, Coppertone Tanning Lotion, and more. If you can take care of the problem, you should. I haven't heard one bad remark from anything I've read and I've read just about everything I could Google. Precautionary, no matter how your treatment goes, is always better than the end result. Why not fix something we knew nothing about years ago. I'm so glad I am. I'll let you know how it goes in the days to come! Kick Cancer One Cell at a Time!!! If you can see the pic (tried to load) this was after the last application on my 14th day.

Great forum for info ~ Thanks


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noni

France
2 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2012 :  03:51:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello there. New to the forum. I did Efudex three years ago and hated it. But of course survived it and though the results were so much better than liq nitrogen. Partial face and chest. Became a supporter of this treatment encouraging others to go for it. The results are always worth the discomfort, social and physical.
Just finished another 21 days on my lower lip. Four days later I am having problems with scabs. The scabs break and bleed so easily with eating, teeth cleaning, even talking! etc etc. Plus, I always have been a picker, a toucher - hate loose skin and scabs on my lips. So, this time I was looking to see if there was anything I could buy in my area of the world (France) to put on the lips. I'll head for lanolin oil, as a pharma friend advised. Just got to keep those scabs on the lips! It is not too bad. Enclosing a photo. This was taken before the cracking and bleeding.
Also found that eating out of a dessert spoon (at home) was easier as less wet food touches the lip and you don't have to open so wide. All a bit basic but as this forum is about help, I'm putting in my cents-worth.
If in doubt about this treatment, "Just do it!"


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Floridagirl

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2012 :  19:55:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have just been told I have to do efudex treatment on my face and chest. Trying to decide whether to my face in sections or go the whole hog and do it all at once. I'm afraid I'll start and then not finish. I work with the public so I'm concerned that burn victim chic not the greatest look. I know I have to, AK, BCC,SCC already, and I want avoid mohs. Any advice on how I should do it? Thanks!
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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2012 :  20:30:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well hello another person from Florida. I haven't done my time with the efudex yet.. but I know I have to. I was told not to do it when its hot out - and since we are going in to the summer I would say wait till later this year. The heat apparently makes you suffer more plus the sun is stronger. What part of Florida are you in? Im in Port St Lucie just above West Palm Beach.
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2012 :  15:33:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Floridagirl, this is just my 2 cents, but consult your Dr. to see if you can put it off until the heat of summer is over. Or if you can do a modified schedule of twice a day for 2 or 3 days a week for several months instead of the usual 2 times a day everyday for 3 weeks to a month. Or perhaps another treatment?

If not, bite the bullet, do it and stay out of the heat as much as possible. For me, the last week was the worst. As far as how much to do, I would suggest doing your face first, and then your chest. You're right, you may start and not finish if you break your face into sections. If you've had AK, BCC and SCC already you know the score.

I work with the public too, but to heck with them if it makes them feel uncomfortable - this is your life we're talking about. Look at it as an opportunity to educate others. I printed out things like "go ahead - ask.. I know you want to", and "still think suntans look healthy?" on mailing labels and wore them on my shirt/jacket.

Whatever you do, make sure your Doc gives you something for pain and to help you sleep.
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Floridagirl

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  15:57:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks! Live in Atlanta now, so I have decided to wait until December to go ahead with the treatment. Less hot/humid then so I'm thinking it will be easier in the cold. Have to admit scared to do this, and not looking forward to it one bit even though I know I really don't have a choice. Thanks for the advice on painkillers. They did not give me one so I will ask for that. The derm sort of acted like its no big deal. I do wonder if it's worse the more damage there is?
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  17:15:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Floridagirl, ask your Dermo if he or she has ever done the treatment themselves. If they act like it's no big deal, I suspect the answer is no, they haven't.
If you are putting it off until cooler weather, I'd suggest November. That way, the pain and itching are likely to be less during the xmas holiday period. I did 1 month and weeks 3 and 4 were the worst (and a few days of week 5). I also had tylenol 3's on hand that didn't help too much. I would have killed for a prescription for something to help me sleep as the itching really kicked in around midnight on most nights later on in the treatment.
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Nodge

New Zealand
0 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2012 :  23:18:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have my tube of Efudex. Now just need to work up the courage to get started! Scary posts on this forum. You may be interested to know the cost of it here in New Zealand. $3 for the 20g tube! (Must be highly subsidized by the government.)
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Jackie

Australia
1 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2012 :  22:43:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have just completed 14 days x2 daily on my nose and cheeks. I will have to do my forehead and chin area another time (when the fresh memories are gone )

I wish I could have done the whole face at once but have been advised only to do small sections. Even doing 14 days was extremely difficult. People must react differently to the medication. I think I reacted quickly and the results were what someone else may have experienced after 3 weeks. In the end I was putting cream on top of layers of scabby skin. The only area that didn't react to the cream was a small section either side of my ears. I ended up with about 15 great big sores as well as red raw skin across the rest of my face.

I did my nose first before a week later deciding to go acrooss the whole middle section of my face so my nose has had a week of healing. I am fortunate I decided to do that at the end of week 1 because at the end of week 2 I would have taken a break and not treated any other area for a while. I will wait to see how long I take to get back to normal before I schedule my next section.

My nose, after one week, has lost all its scabs and layers of dead skin. It is shiny and red but smooth. I can see where the deep sores were as they are now a darker shade of red. I may end up having an uneven skin tone but I had freckles before and beginning to get a few brown spots (age spots my doc said). I don't think I will have any freckles left on the skin I have treated. They were quite pale anyway from years of wearing suncream. The problem is the years of not and the severe sun burns throughtout my life.

I was amazed by how many I had that I did not know. I knew of one on the end of my nose and one on my cheek and one on ear (my GP said to use efudix on it like a spot treatment - lucky I read that it is better to do a section or I would have missed the ones that were waiting to show themselves!!)

My cheeks are the sorest. It has only been two days since I stopped using the cream. The skin on top is a colour that is difficult to describe. It was an orange colour from the fluid that came out of the sores after applying the cream but now it is like a grey colour I suppose and under it is broken bleeding skin in places. I am using an antibiotic cream that I had already in the cupboard. I am using it on the areas that are bleeding. I am no longer using it once the skin closes over like on my nose. I am paranoid about getting an infection in the open skin. Then I am using paw paw ointment as a moisturiser simply because it is what I have in the cupboard.

If the red disappears quickly then I will do my forehead as soon as it does. My chin can wait until next winter and I may actually take some time off to do that area. I think it will be worse than the middle of my face. I wish I had done my whole face at once cause now I have to go through this again!!

I am so proud of myself. I think this process is tiring both physically and emotionally. I have had to draw on my sense of self worth and put aside the stares and even laughs and pointing from teenage boys (let's face it they are experiencing their own emotional torment at the moment so I forgive them). Though my tolerance has reached its end. I have worked every day during this experience and dropped kids off to school and shopped and the list goes on. Right now I don't want to see a single person every again until I am all healed (but I will). I have a little cry, pick myself up and continue on.

I have learnt that I place significant importance on the way I look (like others I guess or they wouldn't stare). It has been a humbling experience and even though I knew I was strong what I have learnt is that it is my own attachment to looks that caused me the greatest pain. I have a girlfriend who lives daily with a birth defect that affects her face and people stare. She is strong and positive and outgoing and she is my hero. If I can't suck up a month or so of looking like this then I do not deserve to walk next to her in the street.

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alanmowle

United Kingdom
1 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2012 :  09:10:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am in the UK where medicines are free if over the age of 65. I started my Efudix over 4 weeks ago with a 40gram tube, this costs the Pharmacist to buy into the Pharmacy £36.80 the Dispensing costs have then to be added and the 'buying in' costs, generally the UK is considered a low cost area for medicines, the Mexico price at $40 for 40grams seems too cheap to be true? I am lucky in that most of my needs are on the top of my bald head,however my right ear is completely scabbed up and very vascular and bleeds easily, so I do not sleep on that side, I made a mistake and applied some cream to my left ear and 3 small spots have come up there and bleed, on hindsight I would leave one ear alone, I am a former RN but never seen Efudix (That is the MEDO trade name in the UK) in action.
quote:
Originally posted by deruo

bobw - My first 40g tube lasted me about 3 weeks. I'm putting it on my scalp, forehead, rest of face, and a small spot on my shoulder, twice a day.
I think thats quite a bit of skin! I'm not sure if we're allowed to direct to other websites here but here goes: efudexed.blogspot.com . It's a blog I started, like others, in hopes of helping patients get an idea of what to expect. You can see my mug in all its' glory there. If the link gets removed, PM me and I'll send it to you that way.
It takes a couple of days to get the hang of it, the consistency in my first tube was much thicker than my second (which has a longer expiration date). I'm doing it to give everything a very thin layer. I didn't think my first tube was going to last until day 15 but I managed to squeeze enough out until day 21 or so.

My second tube expiration date is January 2013 and the consistency of the product is almost like a lotion. Goes on very easily.

Those prices in Mexico, although cheaper than the US, seem more expensive than Canada. My 40g tube at Costco here in Canada was just under 40.00 Canadian. There are a number of online pharmacies where you can buy "Canadian" drugs cheaper, and have them delivered to you in the US. You need a prescription but certainly cheaper than buying through US based pharmacies. For example, I found 1 online site where a 40g tube of Efudex was $79.00.

Charging $300.00 a tube for this stuff is criminal.

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Kite girl

2 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2012 :  07:29:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi There.
Doc has prescribed efudex for two weeks on my lips For two weeks, once a day at night. Lots of sun history growing up and live in the Caribbean. A few big lesions and lots of burns. I was told to treat a year ago but did not. Oops. I chose Efudex over Aldara after reading the side effects of Aldara, and the doc said it is faster acting than Aldara, which is important because I am in reeal estate and can not afford a lot of down-time

The question is does any one know if using hydrocortisone cream 1% or natural Cocoa
Oil reduce the effectiveness of efudex, when used In the day 8 hours after applying efudex?

I am on day 9 of two weeks and it seems like the intense burning is done just lots of ugly weeping and scrabbling and bleeding. Now it is just hard to talk and eat.

When the burning and swelling was was so intense a few days ago, I used cocoa oil then later on a different day hydrocortisone 1% . neither of which my doc recommended.

Why I ask is because the major lesion on my lip that brought me to the doc has not been affected at all. Around it and other areas have been affected but not this one ?????

Thanks
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Kite girl

2 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2012 :  07:48:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JackRussell

TO JenT.
Actually, this is a response to everyone.
Efudex is no party. JenT, I guess that your earlier attempt with Efudex failed because you probably did it for only 21 days of less. There was a question earlier on this post about the varying durations in treatment. The varying duration I think is largely due to three reasons: 1) People can't take it and so the Dr cuts it short,2) Different treatment times for different cancer types, skin types and ages, and 3) I think many Dr's don't know what they are doing. Prior to doing Efudex I poured over all the studies on it. Minimum you need to go 28 days (face), two apply twice per day. If you are going after basil cell on the face then you must go 60 days. I know it's tough medicine but you are talking about pentance for years of damaging your skin. 60 days is nothing compared tot he 40 or mosr years of damage.
My girlfriend's Dr was going to remove basil cell from he cheek. A significant area would be cut and she would be scared. I got he a different Dr who thru my encouragement did Curac (eurafloricil - same stuff as Efudex). She applid it to the area for 60 days. It was a mess but you know what? She looks great today.
If you don't go long enough then It will come back some day. Get tough and just get it done. And don't forget your 50 block.


What about on the lips? Isn't the duration less when applying to the lips?
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JackRussell

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2012 :  22:28:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

[/quote]
What about on the lips? Isn't the duration less when applying to the lips?

Odd thing about the lips is that I applied it to them and they seemed to react more quickly than any other area.. but.. they seemed to max out quicker too and almost stop responding. Nonetheless, I continued for 6 weeks.

My brother went nuts with Efudex and applied it to a single area for almost 12 weeks. The area reacted as expected, but then 4 weekes into it a bump that he had under that area started to reacted. He fearlessly applied for 3 months. Another brother called him crazy. That brother said that he would be scared for life. Well, it took a long to to heal but whatever that bump was deep under his skin, that he had had for years, is now gone.

Keep in mind that you are dealing with cancer here. Come on! A little discomfort and being ugly for a moth or two is nothing compared to the grusome death caused by skin cancer. Skin cancer takes no prisoners.



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AussieMike

Australia
1 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2012 :  14:20:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Being of Irish genetic composition, but having grown up - not in the mist, drizzle and gloom of County Cork - but on the highveld of South Africa and the beaches of Australia, I was destined to skin cancer challenges at some stage of my life.

So here I am on day 17 of a 21 day treatment of Effudex, and I have to say that I was very badly prepared for this journey. At my wife's insistence I go for annual skin checks. But when the dermatologist one day almost casually suggested I undergo the Effudex thing, I even more casually, agreed. At no stage did he tell me to prepare myself mentally for a tough experience.†

And he certainly never once used the "chemotherapy" word which I subsequently learned is what this treatment really is. I suspect the word is somewhat stigmatized and if a medical specialist declares the need for chemotherapy, that would unnecessailry scare many patients.

Still, while it isn't a barrel of laughs (as a case in point, it's 3:15am in the morning as I type this and I'm unable to sleep because of the pain and burning), I take heart from the positive experiences shared by others on this site.†

Judging from what others have shared, it would seem that this current period, I.e., the latter stages of the treatment, are the most challenging. Reading about the Love-Hate relationship others have had with Effudex (Love, afterwards, but sheer Hate during treatment!) has also helped to put the tough, lonely times into perspective.†

I particularly liked someone's comment along the lines of how such a harmless looking cream is able to cause †such carnage and trauma.†

As an Effudix "victim" it's easy to feel sorry for oneself, but I suppose if there's a cancer type to be prone to, its skin cancer. At least the enemy is visible and observable.

While right now I make Oscar the Grouch seem like the life of the party by comparison, I'm lookin forward in a few weeks time to be able to post word of encouragement similar to others who have survived the Effudex Enduro.

Best†

Crusty Mike
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JackRussell

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2012 :  17:16:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike - read my posts. 3 weeks is not enough. You kill surface cells leaving the deeper damaged cells to fester unnoticed. You think all is OK and then one day you discover you have melanoma and its too late. Do it right and do 5 to 6 weeks. I did and I am glad. Sure it's hell but other people have been thru a lot more for a lot less. Dying of skin cancer is a hell of a lot worse, and all because you could not stick this out for 5 weeks.
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Disclaimer: The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is the most dangerous type, keep in mind that any cancer and potentially some cancer treatments can cause injury or death. The various views expressed in these public forums should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.