Chemo Drug May Help With Sun Damage


As reported in the June issue of the Archives of Dermatology journal, topically applying the chemotherapy drug fluorouracil to the skin may help to both improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin (think: wrinkles and age spots) as well as reduce the risk of precancerous areas potentially developing into skin cancer.

The discovery was made after observing improvements in the skin of patients being treated with fluorouracil for cancers of the colon, head and neck, pancreas and other organs. It has the potential to revolutionize anti-aging efforts, as well aid in the prevention of skin cancer.

While the study, funded by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, was small (a mere 21 participants) the results were dramatic: after applying 5 percent fluorouracil cream to volunteers’ faces twice daily for two weeks, researchers found the number of precancerous skin lesions declined from an average of 11.6 lesions per person to an average of 1.5 lesions. Researchers also noted improvements in aging-related damage, such as wrinkles and dark spots.

Further research is needed but this may end up being a huge breakthrough for skin-cancer prevention as well as for cosmetic purposes.