Posted by: Chris van den Heever | 2019/01/15


More info on the application of Efudix

Question: How long must I leave Efudix on the affected area before I can wash it? I am currently applying Efudix to the back of my hand. Unfortunately working in the garden and with animals I need to wash my hands frequently. No where in all the leaflets etc. can I find info on how soon one can wash the area after applying the ointment without negatively affecting the treatment. Hop you can help

Expert's Reply


Cancer expert
- 2019/01/16

Dear Mr van den Heever

Herewith information on using Efudix cream


How do I apply Efudix® cream?

Efudix® cream can be applied with a clean fingertip.

Apply a thin layer of the cream to the entire treatment area.

You should wash your hands thoroughly after applying 5-FU cream.

After 20 minutes, you can apply moisturisers and/or make-up as part of your usual skin care routine. If you have widespread sun-damage it is usually advisable to divide the affected area into smaller areas and to complete treatment in one area before moving on to the next. This will help make the treatment reaction more tolerable. Your doctor will provide further advice about this.

Only cover 5-FU cream with a plaster if advised to do so by your doctor, otherwise leave the treated area uncovered.

Covering the treatment area with a plaster is likely to induce a more severe skin reaction.

When treating superficial basal cell carcinomas, however, covering the area with a plaster is often recommended.


How often should I use Efudix® cream?

How often and for how long you should use Efudix® cream will depend on your skin condition and other factors, for example which part of your skin is affected.

Efudix® cream is usually applied once or twice a day, for 3-4 weeks when treating actinic keratosis and Bowen’s disease, and for 6 weeks when treating superficial basal cell carcinoma.

Occasionally, more prolonged courses may be used. Your doctor will recommend a specific treatment schedule for you.


At what time of day should I apply Efudix® cream?

If you are asked by your doctor to use Efudix® cream once a day, you should apply it at night.

If twice-daily application is recommended then it is best to apply Efudix® cream in the morning and at night.


When should I not apply Efudix® cream?

Efudix®  cream should not be used around the eyes or lips, unless specifically recommended by your doctor for use in that area.

Do not apply Efudix® cream if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not use Efudix® cream if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.


What to do if you want to work in the garden

Ask your treating physician whether it is OK to wear protective gloves while you are working in the garden.

If you apply the cream only once a day, schedule your working in the garden for early in the morning, wear protective gloves (if agreed to by your doctor), wash the area afterwards, and apply the cream.

If you apply the cream twice a day (morning and evening) repeat the process mentioned above and work in the garden in the morning, etc.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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