Treatment of Precancers with Topical Agents

  • Paola Chamorro
  • Bahar FirozEmail author


Actinic keratosis (AK) is one of the most common skin conditions worldwide. AK represents an intraepidermal dysplastic proliferation of keratinocytes (Berman B, Cockerell CJ. J Am Acad Dermatol 68:S10–9, 2013). It is a potential precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), with estimates of AK progression to invasive SCC ranging from 0.025% to 20%. With the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer on the rise, treatment for AKs has been recommended to reduce the development of invasive SCC, lower healthcare expenditure, and improve patient well-being (Vale SM, Hill D, Feldman SR. Pharmacoeconomics 107:674–680, 2016). Several treatment modalities have been employed to treat AKs in an attempt to prevent progression to invasive SCC. The modalities which will be discussed and evaluated in this chapter include topical sunscreen, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, topical 5% (Efudex) and 0.5% (Carac) 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), topical 5% imiquimod cream (Aldara), topical diclofenac with sodium hyaluronate gel (Solaraze), ingenol mebutate (Picato), topical retinoids, and chemical peels including trichloroacetic acid and Jessner’s solution applied to affected skin.


Actinic keratosis/actinic keratoses (AK) Solar keratosis Senile keratosis Cryotherapy Chemical peels 5-Fluorouracil Imiquimod Diclofenac Ingenol mebutate Retinoids Organ transplantation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolSomersetUSA

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