Peeling with 70% glicolic acid followed by 5% 5-fluorouracil as well as 5% 5-fluorouracil cream are effective methods for the treatment of actinic keratoses on upper limbs: A randomized clinical trial

Dermatol Ther. 2020 May;33(3):e13459. doi: 10.1111/dth.13459. Epub 2020 May 6.


The 5% 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream, considered the gold standard topical treatment, and peeling using 70% glycolic acid (GA) followed by 5% 5-FU are methods for the treatment of actinic keratoses (AKs). However, the comparison of these two treatments had not yet been described and therefore was the objective of this study. A randomized clinical trial, intrapatient study in which 17 patients received a type of treatment in the right and left upper limb with 5% 5-FU cream (twice daily) or a peeling application of 70% GA (every 15 days) followed by 5% 5-FU cream. There was a significant reduction of 75% and 85.71% in the mean number of AK lesions and of 74.5% and 85.71% in the size of lesions on the upper limbs of patients treated with peeling and 5% 5-FU cream (P-value ≤.001), respectively. Neither treatment was superior to the other since there was no significant difference (P-value ≥.05) between the treatments, both at the post-intervention period as well as when comparing the difference between the pre and post-intervention periods. The peeling with 70% GA followed by 5% 5-FU as well as 5% 5-FU cream are effective methods for the treatment of AKs on upper limbs.

Keywords: 5-fluorouracil cream; actinic keratoses; peeling.