Efudex® (Pre-Cancer Treatments) in San Francisco, CA

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About Efudex

Efudex (florouracil) is an anti-metabolite medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions and spots on the skin. Efudex is a prescription topical cream that is applied to the affected area and can be used as an effective alternative to chemotherapy drugs because of its ease of use and accessibility. When applied, the cream interferes with the metabolic and cell regeneration process of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells, interrupting their reproduction rate and attempting to eliminate the mutated cells. Efudex can effectively stop the cell reproduction and halt the cancer from spreading, treating a number of different conditions, such as actinic keratosis and basal cell cancer of the skin. The board-certified dermatologists and skin care professionals at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology can help San Francisco area patients diagnose and treat skin conditions like actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma with prescription Efudex.

Best Candidates

Efudex is most commonly used to treat two skin conditions:

  • Actinic Keratosis: actinic keratosis is a patch of scaly skin that forms commonly on the face, hands, arms, and head due to overexposure of ultra violet (UV) rays. This condition usually takes years to develop and can be diagnosed by examining the abnormal patch of skin. Actinic keratosis does not necessarily equate with cancer, however it can lead to skin cancer over time if it is not properly treated or prevented. Efudex is used to treat actinic keratosis and can be a successful cancer prevention method. It is important to consult with one of our dermatologists to determine if this method might be right for you.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that is formed by excessive exposure to the sun and artificial UV lights. The cancerous region appears as a transparent legion on the skin, typically in regions that receive the most sun exposure, like the face and neck. This kind of carcinoma begins in the basal cells, the type of cells within the skin that are responsible for the reproduction process of new cells. When cancerous cells invade, Efudex can be effective in interrupting this regeneration process, potentially leading to the destruction of the cancerous cells. Our skilled dermatologists are highly-equipped to assess your needs and help decide if this is the proper treatment method for you. 

What to Expect

Patients may apply Efudex/fluorouracil cream themselves, directly on the legion or cancerous area of the skin. Depending on the severity of the condition, Efudex may be applied regularly or periodically over different periods of time. The cream should be applied using fingertips (metal applicators should be avoided) and hands should be washed after coming into contact with the cream. One of our skilled dermatologist will determine the patient's dosage and treatment schedule depending on their condition and the level of skin damage. After the patient has applied the cream for the prescribed amount of time, one of our dermatologists will determine if the cream may be discontinued via emailed photo of the treatment area or in person office visit.

Other Considerations

The most common reactions to Efudex treatment include: itching, irritation, burning, swelling, or other discomfort around the treated area. Treated lesions may become red, blister, and/or scab. Not to worry, however, this is a normal side effect and a sign that the treatment is working to destroy precancerous and cancerous cells. Usually, these symptoms will subside and heal after the entire treatment process is complete. Patients should avoid taking aspirin while using Efudex and it should not be used on women who are or may become pregnant to avoid serious complications. Before using Efudex please talk to your doctor about any current medications and review your medical history. Patients should report any side effects or concerns while using Efudex. 


We have our own formula of high quality, prescription Fluorouracil available for our patients to purchase right here at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology. Skip the trip to the pharmacy and purchase from us directly. Consult your insurance provider first to be sure, but our prices are often less than the price you pay even with insurance at the pharmacy. 

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Effective Cancer Prevention

Efudex is an FDA-approved medication that has been proven to reduce and interrupt mutated cell production. If you're experiencing signs of skin cancer or pre-cancer lesions,  Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology invites you to schedule a consultation and discuss your possible treatment options with our skilled, board-certified dermatologists. If you're a good candidate for Efudex, then this can be an ideal cancer prevention method or treatment, offering potential skin restoration and healing. 

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.