Long-term efficacy and safety of Jessner's solution and 35% trichloroacetic acid vs 5% fluorouracil in the treatment of widespread facial actinic keratoses

Daniel D. Witheiler, Naomi Lawrence, Sue Ellen Cox, Chito Cruz, Clay J. Cockerell, Robert G. Freemen

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Few studies have examined the long-term efficacy of fluorouracil (FU) or chemical peels for the treatment of actinic keratoses (AK). Our earlier work examined the efficacy and safety of a medium-depth chemical peel compared with the standard regimen of topical FU in the treatment of widespread facial AK through 12 months. OBJECTIVES. To determine long-term efficacy of both treatments by extending our observations through 32 months. METHODS. Fifteen patients with severe facial actinic damage were treated on the left side with a single application of Jessner's solution and 35% trichloroacetic acid and on the right side with twice daily applications of 5% FU cream for 3 weeks. Parameters evaluated at 1, 6, 12, and 32 months included counts of visible AK, random skin biopsies from both treatment areas, development of intercurrent neoplasms, and surveys assessing sun exposure. RESULTS. Eight patients were available for reevaluation at 32 months. Both treatment sides showed a reduction in mean number of AK at 12 months followed by an increase in mean AK number between 12 and 32 months. Improvements in biopsies of clinically actinically damaged skin were seen in keratinocytic atypia, hyperkeratosis, parakeratosis, and inflammation at all treatment times during the study with both treatments. Three squamous cell carcinomas developed in the patients after initial treatment; one developed on the side treated with the peel, and two developed on the side treated with fluorouracil. Surveys failed to demonstrate an association between sun exposure and clinical response. CONCLUSION. Based on these findings, patients with widespread actinic keratoses treated with medium-depth chemical peel or with 5% FU should be reevaluated yearly or every 1.5 years for reappearance of AK and retreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Volume23
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Surgery

Cite this

Witheiler, D. D., Lawrence, N., Cox, S. E., Cruz, C., Cockerell, C. J., & Freemen, R. G. (1997). Long-term efficacy and safety of Jessner's solution and 35% trichloroacetic acid vs 5% fluorouracil in the treatment of widespread facial actinic keratoses. Dermatologic Surgery, 23(3), 191-196.