Clinical applications for topical 5-fluorouracil in the treatment of dermatological disorders

J Dermatolog Treat. 2009;20(6):328-35. doi: 10.3109/09546630902789326.


Topical 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) has been used for the treatment of dermatological conditions for nearly half a century. Although the indications for 5-FU approved by the US Food and Drug Administration include actinic keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinoma, studies also have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy for 5-FU in the treatment of many other dermatological conditions, including squamous cell carcinoma in situ, warts, psoriasis of the nail, keratoacanthoma, and vitiligo. This review discusses clinical data which support the use of 5-FU for these disease states.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Keratoacanthoma / drug therapy
  • Keratosis, Actinic / drug therapy
  • Nail Diseases / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitiligo / drug therapy
  • Warts / drug therapy


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Fluorouracil