Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Study Shows Skin Cream Containing Fluorouracil May Be a Wrinkle Fighter

WebMD Health News

Chemo Drug Cream May Fade Wrinkles

June 15, 2009 -- The chemotherapy drug fluorouracil, used in a skin cream, may have potential for fading wrinkles.

Fluorouracil is already used as a prescription skin treatment for actinic keratoses, which are precancerous lesions caused by sun damage.

Patients getting such treatment have also reported softer, smoother, less wrinkled skin -- and now, a new study confirms those skin improvements.

The study included 21 patients with actinic keratoses who applied a 5% fluorouracil skin cream called Efudex to their entire face twice daily for two weeks.

The patients were followed for about six months, and during that time, they got skin biopsies, close-up facial photographs, and dermatology checkups on a regular basis.

First, the patients' facial skin got dry, itchy, and peeled. In the following weeks, their skin recovered, with softer wrinkles and better texture.

Twenty patients completed a questionnaire in the tenth week of the study. Of those patients, 40% said their sun damage was "much" improved and 35% said it was "moderately" improved.

When it came to their wrinkles, 42% of the patients reported "mild" improvement, 26% noted "moderate" improvement, and 16% reported "much" improvement.

All noted at least mild improvement in their skin texture. Overall, 75% of the patients said they were "very" or "moderately" satisfied with the results.

One person developed severe skin inflammation and quit using the skin cream after the first week, and most of the patients said they found the treatment at least "moderately" uncomfortable.

Still, most patients said they were willing to get the treatment again and 17 out of 19 patients said they would pay for it out of pocket.

The researchers -- who included Dana Sachs, MD, of the University of Michigan's dermatology department -- say the skin cream was generally well tolerated.

A fluorouracil cream would cost less than laser skin resurfacing but "may not, however, achieve the same degree of improvement," write Sachs and colleagues.

The study, published in June's edition of the Archives of Dermatology, was funded by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which makes Efudex.

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices