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Carac Cream For Actinic Karatosis (Page 1)

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I am a 45 year old male and I have been dealing with skin cancer for a good part of my life. I have had many BCC's removed from my body including my face. I am currently on a regiment of Carac Cream. I am on day 8 of a 21 day application. I spent my younger days in the sun without any protection and recieved numerous sunburns throughout my life and am now paying the price. I started a small web site to chart my progress with Carac and to hopefully educate a little. I hope you enjoy it. I will be adding to it often. Idea
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First Helper CindyME
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replied December 21st, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
What are the results from using Carac Cream?
Have you experienced some side effects?
Did you develop pain, swelling, deep redness and peeling on your face?
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replied January 5th, 2008
Carac Cream For Actinic Karatosis
I had pretty good results, but it was a terrible experience. It is hard to give side effects since it effects everyone a little differently. I had a severe reaction with nausea for a couple of weeks. It was very painful with a few sleepless nights. I am somewhat happy with the results however is some new Ak's appearing on my forehead Sad
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replied January 8th, 2008
Aks And Carac Cream
I'm 44 years old light skin I have been using the cream for 11days. I started on the 28th of december the first couple of days I just had head aches and skin irritations took advil for the pain.The 7th day skin started pealing and cracking.The pain is getting worse in the shower or when washing my face fills like its on fire. I've been using a aloe concentrate on my skin between treatments.I'm a barber so I have been talking to other clients in the shop trying to find someone that has been through this treatment finally found someone this gentleman is 54 years old only tried the cream for 10 days on his face and top of scalp he said he couldn't stand it anymore and stopped the treatment to let it heal his skin really looks great. And he said he was going to do other areas a little at a time if any has anyone has questions I'd be more than happy to answer good luck.
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replied January 17th, 2008
CARAC Topical Chemo
WOW - What an experience Carac is! I am a 44, 2 weeks from 45, year old female. I have been on and off Carac for two rounds on my face in sections since December 10th. 1st was my nose and my forehead. 2nd is my cheeks out to the side and down to jawline, chin, and above upper lip area. This second round ends Friday, and then it will take about 2-3 weeks to heal like round 1 did. I have felt pain in my neck, a soreness to facial glands, bad chills, headaches, trouble swallowing, lightheadedness, fatigue,n insomnia, felt like I had to force myself to breathe at times, facial pain from redness, showers and in between waiting with facial washes and lotion and after applying carac and waiting 2 hours to apply a lotion were just awful. I peeled 3 times after the first round, but not during. I have already peeled once during this time and it is day 12. At times this has been so scary and nerve racking. I worried if I needed the blood test for the enzyme problem that some people have that shows there body rejects chemo or something.

I found it helpful after the first 5 days ( all of which no redness appeared on my face) to take 2-3 extra strength tylenol (although at times it took Darvocet) 1 hour before the end of the two hour wait to put on lotion after applying carac. Then I was a little more relaxed to add the lotion. I used neutrogena facial health defense lotion until burned to much after the first few days. The burn usually only lasted about 10-15 minutes and then was better and would help stop the uncontrollable itch brought on by the carac. But towards the end and with the peeling for the 1-2 weeks after the treatment, to keep face moist, I found AQUAPHOR to be a life saver!!
I sure hope this helps others going through this treatment! Hang in there and most of all keep telling yourself - I don't want to start this all over - so don't stop now! Tell yourself you are doing this for your health and that skin cancer is the number one killer cancer, and that this treatment is helping to kill the precancer cells that exist and to treat the AKs. Good Luck to us all! Smile ~Peace! ~
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Users who thank mamamimi for this post: Karatemom2 

replied January 17th, 2008
Carac Cream
I Finished my treatment on my face on the 11th day used it on my crown area for 14 days in one week the healing is amazing i used eucerin 3 to 4 times daily the thick cream in a tub.You all should try it peace and God bless all!!!!!!!!!!!
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replied February 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
How many times your face area got peel off before it was healed?
There is a information that face would peel about 3 times before healing process is completed.
What are your experiences like?
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replied November 13th, 2008
Just started Carac cream on upper lip
Hi, After putting this process on hold for 2 weeks, because of fear from reading about the process. I am now on day 4 and I do not see any change in my spots. Does anyone know when I will start experiencing the "ugliness" of this treatment? Also, should I be applying the cream after I wash face?
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replied January 8th, 2009
Carac regime
I am only on day 2 of applying the Carac cream to my face. So far, I haven't felt much irritation or seen extreme redness. When should I expect to start experiencing all those horrible side effects. By the way, I've put it off for 2 YEARS!
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Users who thank fritzopel for this post: KinseyK 

replied January 17th, 2009
Carac on chest?
My dermotologist recommended Carac for my chest. 2x per day for 6 weeks. The pkg notes only 1x per day for 4 weeks. Does my recommendation sounds right? Although my chest did have a few spots - it didn't seem to have alot going on other than it gets alot of sun. I had a cancerous mole on my neck. I wonder if i'm really a good candidate for this and if it's over prescribed.

Also - do you think it really works to kill pre-cancerous cells?
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replied April 7th, 2011
I can't speak to your dosage - I am using it on my chest 1x day for 3 weeks - I started seeing irritation and itching around day 7 with the sun damaged skin flaring red. The active ingredient in Carac is used in cancer chemotherapy, so I'd assume it should be effective on sun damaged skin as well. You will be surprised to see how many areas "flare". Take cool showers, use sunscreen, avoid exposing affected areas to sunlight, and use a moisturizer no sooner than two hours after applying the Carac if that provides some relief. I am at day 10 and have had no other symptoms than some itching and scaliness.
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replied January 19th, 2009
Carac ?????
I started my Carac treatment 2 days ago and i guess by reading this blog that the pain will start in a few more days. I have left the Carac on the whole day and not used a moisturizer yet but after reading this blog it sounds like I should be putting some on after about 2 hours. Any thoughts or suggestions from the group would be appreciated.
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replied January 31st, 2009
Carac for AK's
I am a 52.5yo female Dermatologist who decided to "practice what I preach'. I am on day 22 of daily Carac application for treatment of my facial actinic keratoses, and it is more miserable than I've warned my patients (Irritability is a real side effect of ongoing cutaneous pain!). I experienced no discomfort and only minimal highlighting of my AK's for the first 7 days of therapy. After that the lesions and pain have intensified daily, to the point where I have had to "buck up" and force myself to use Carac for the past four days. I have followed the instructions to the letter, but have only found relief from the burning and irritation with one moisturizer: Clinique Comfort on Call (but, I didn't try Aquaphor which I see from the above entries have helped some). I now have some scabs and much peeling in patches, and will only use Carac on the areas that are not so traumatized, until day 28 when the course of treatment will be complete. I hope this will keep my AK's away for a good long time, as I will think long and hard before doing it again.
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replied December 18th, 2011
I found your information very helpful. I am a 65 year old female and I am in the third day of treatment with Carac cream. I was sent to a Plastic surgeon for basal cell cancer on my right shoulder, which he removed. He also has me using carac cream on my face 2x daily for six weeks. I haven't read anything on this blog that tells me anyone is using it 2x daily for 6 weeks. So far so good, no side effects except for minor itching. I'm really wondering if 2x daily is right for me. I am blond, blue eyes and very fair.
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replied February 23rd, 2012
Carac on scalp
I am using Carac on my scalp, down my part and 1/2 inch on each side of the part. What I cannot find out is can I wash my hair during the process? I am on day 4. I also am putting it on my lower lip, nose and cheeks. My lip peeled in day 3, and is still scaly. I am confused about the length of time to use it. My Dermatologist said once a day for 2weeks but I see by the blogs people are doing it longer. We live in the wilderness with no phone so I am asking you for help. Thank you. eilzabeth
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replied February 8th, 2009
Carac on lips
I used carac for 5 weeks in December on my lips, and they still are rough and sore. I'm going to the doctor in 2 weeks, but I am worried that complete healing has not taken place. I'm wondering if it didn't work or if I need to apply the medicine again. I did 5 weeks because after 3 weeks on and 2 weeks off, my lips still seemed unhealed. Any experiences like this?
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replied March 29th, 2012
Carac didn't work - no reaction
I am experiencing the same thing. I was told to use Carac cream on my lips every other day for a month. I had Zero reaction except maybe some teeny tiny blisters that weren't really noticable. I was then told to use everyday for two weeks. Zero reaction. Nothing. No awful side affects like you read about and no real change in my peely rough lips. Did you ever figure out why it didn't work?
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replied June 6th, 2012
june 6 2012 Hello robin2az I saw a vid on yt, in which the doctor narrating,said that carac applied to normal skin will have no reaction, it would be as if you were applying a skin cream. So, if U had "Zero reaction", maybe U did not have any ak lesions.
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replied June 6th, 2012
No reaction to Carac could be due to......
june 6 2012 Hello robin2az I saw a vid on yt, in which the doctor narrating,said that carac applied to normal skin will have no reaction, it would be as if you were applying a skin cream. So, if U had "Zero reaction", maybe U did not have any ak lesions.
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replied February 13th, 2009
Re: Carac regime
fritzopel wrote:
I am only on day 2 of applying the Carac cream to my face. So far, I haven't felt much irritation or seen extreme redness. When should I expect to start experiencing all those horrible side effects. By the way, I've put it off for 2 YEARS!


I am on day 6 of 28 days total. I have to put the carac cream on my chest area and I'm in so much pain that I can hardly stand it. I haven't been to the dermatologist in almost 4 years. I just hope I can get through this. Are you having any signs of the cream working yet?
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replied February 17th, 2009
Carac
I am a 56 year old male. Lots of golfing and fishing in my life till now. Grew up with summers starting with a good sunburn, finally turning into a tan (before good sunscreens were developed). Only Sea and Ski LOTION when I was a kid, that only soothed a sunburn!

I will be on my 10th day of 14 total applications of Carac tonight. The symptoms did not kick in for me till Day 6. I am using it all over my face. By Day 8, the splotches are all over my face.

The red splotches start in the areas having the thinest skin first (eye brows, temples, eye orbitals, forehead, etc.) then work their way down into the thicker skin like cheeks. So just when I thought the worst was over, more and bigger splotches pop up in different places. I have some scabbing on my temples around my eyes. Right where the edge of my sunglasses usually sit!

I now look like I have a severe case of acne or some sort of a hellish rash. It is truly unsightly, but I'm determined to stick it out. I am too embarrassed to go to work, but mostly home office, fortunately. I'm afraid I'd be arrested and quarantined if I were to go out right now! I take my walks after dark, and early a.m. Thick sunscreens with Zinc and Titanium Oxides like Blue Lizard hide it a bit, but are now starting to irritate the reddened skin areas.

I am using Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser to wash. It feels great and cleans off the previous night's Carac well.

I have also been using Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Starting to burn a bit, and really accentuates the redness. May try the Aquaphor from what I've been reading today.

No peeling or bleeding yet. My eyes have been VERY irritated from the start, and I'm much more sleepy, irritable and constipated than normal.

My doctor tricked me into thinking the blotches are gone after two weeks; NOT two weeks AFTER treatment ends! Good thing he didn't tell me the truth! I balked for four months before starting treatment as it was!

Can't wait for the next four days to pass so I can begin healing. I have family coming in this weekend I haven't seen in nearly a year. Yikes, are they going to be in for a surprise! (They've been warned!).

Best to all; let's hope it's worth it!
Hang in,
Rick
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replied February 20th, 2009
Photodynamic Therapy
My doctor recommended Carac, but after reading posts like these, I asked about other treatment options! She said Photodynamic Therapy has the same effect but it's a one-day treatment, so the healing process is lots faster. Has anyone tried this?
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replied April 10th, 2011
My husband did this. It is faster (one day of treatment) but he said it hurts like hell during the process - and he's a rugby player and cop, so he has a very high pain threshold. He looked like a burn victim for quite a while afterward, and it was painful then too.

There's really no way around the pain with either method -- the cream is just more gradual.
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replied January 15th, 2012
I did Photodynamic therapy and found it a walk in the park compared to Carac .PDT left me with dry red skin on my face ,but only for a few days. I di not see huge results.This Carac cream,day 8 ,is killing me. Pain, swelling, itching and burning. I look like a monster.Maybe PDT will work better for you. Good Luck
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replied June 24th, 2012
i had photodynamic therapy 2x. now i am usuing carac in case the ak's were not removed from the PDT. you would think that the PDT was sufficient. it was not. it took a week or more to show, but my face has tons of red spots. some of which have begun to peel. so, the PDT really is an incomplete option.

my doc had recommended using the carac 1x a day for ten days. the carac website said to use 2x a day until the lesions begin to peel then stop using. so there are some areas i have stopped using it and am continuing to use on areas not yet peeling. had i followed my doctors advise, all the ak's may not have been treated.

does anyone know if it is recommended carac be reapplied to areas treated on a yearly basis or every other year to make sure they don't return? or is one treatment sufficient?

Thanks
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replied June 24th, 2012
i had photodynamic therapy 2x. now i am usuing carac in case the ak's were not removed from the PDT. you would think that the PDT was sufficient. it was not. it took a week or more to show, but my face has tons of red spots. some of which have begun to peel. so, the PDT really is an incomplete option.

my doc had recommended using the carac 1x a day for ten days. the carac website said to use 2x a day until the lesions begin to peel then stop using. so there are some areas i have stopped using it and am continuing to use on areas not yet peeling. had i followed my doctors advise, all the ak's may not have been treated.

does anyone know if it is recommended carac be reapplied to areas treated on a yearly basis or every other year to make sure they don't return? or is one treatment sufficient?

Thanks
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replied October 4th, 2012
I did, about a year ago. The effectiveness varies from individual to individual. In my case, unfortunately, there was not much reaction. I had some redness in small places, but not much. I healed very quickly because of the lack of reaction.

I will be trying carak in January, the rainiest and least sunny time of year here in coastal Oregon. I am feeling some trepidation, but I know it must be done. This forum has given me some good suggestions that I hope will assist me in getting through what sounds like one hell of a challenging process.
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replied February 21st, 2009
Carac cream
I am on day 22 of using the Carac cream on my face and finished a 30-day regimen on my upper chest area. I am fair-skinned and although I've been very careful to use sunscreen and limit my sun exposure over the last 15 years, I did a lot of damage to my skin as a kid and got sunburned many times in the 1960's and 1970's before sunscreen was popular to use.

I just had my first full-blown melanoma spot removed from my leg, so I'm following the dermatologist's advise carefully.

The Carac cream hasn't been too bad for me. It's found quite a few spots on my nose and cheek areas close the the nose. It appears to be killing the upper lay of skin and is no worse than having a sunburn and peeling. I have not used any other creams or lotions at all since starting this as they only make the area sting a lot. It stings the most right after washing my face and putting the cream on. I've had no need to use any painkillers or any other medicine as I'm otherwise healthy, exercise regularly, and don't dwell on it too much.

As far as public embarrassment goes, my friends tell me I look like I have a bad case of acne, and one person asked if I got poison ivy. We've all had a good laugh about it.

My advice to anyone is that if you are faced with this, follow your dermatologist's directions as you don't want skin cancer to progress. And stay busy, don't worry about what you look like since it's only temporary, and think positively.
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replied October 13th, 2011
Will this ever end?
I am a 72 year old male. My hair is white now, but in my younger days I was red headed with freckles. I was raised on a farm where we were out in the sun everyday. I always wore a hat, but the old fashioned straw hats didn't give me the protection I needed. I had many many severe sun burns as a child. I have been having treatments for pre cancerous skin lesions since I was 27 years old. I have had lots of BBCs and two squamous cells and an Atypical Fibro Zanthoma on the top of my head. I have had 3 MOHS surgeries on my forehead and I have gone through 3 carac cream treatments in the past. Today I saw my dermatologist and he told me that once again I must do 4 weeks of carac treatments. So, today I am very discouraged and want to run for the hills rather than face the carac treatment once again, but I suppose in a few days I will settle down and face the fact that it is something I must do even though the thoughts of it makes me want to bawl buckets of tears.
That is my sad story, but of course there are so many many other folks who have things that are so much worse that I should just quite complaining and get started on the treatment. Good luck and God bless to you all.

d
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replied October 29th, 2012
1939 - I too am a redhead - 46 year old female and started my first treatment yesterday. Put it off for weeks and finally picked a day and started. I am nervous and worried about the pain and appearance - but know that the outcome is far better then not doing it. I wanted just to let you know I am thinking of you will keep you in my prayers.
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replied February 25th, 2009
Carac
I am 55 years old, and like a lot of posts I have read here, I have many sunburns in my past. My GP put me on the Carac Cream for 21 days after I showed her a few spots on my forehead I was concerned about.I am applying the cream to my whold face. I am now on day 18. WOW! I had no idea how much damage I actually had on my face until the Carac attacked all the bad spots. I now wish I had gone to a dermatologist to begin with. Week 1 was non eventful with the redness and brown spots starting. Week 2 is when my face really began to look like raw hamburger, but the discomfort was minimal. I am now in week 3 and it is the week from hell. I have 3 days left (of the 21 day treatment) and I feel awful. Besides the burning, my face is so swollen that I can barely talk or open my mouth to get some food in. I have an upset stomach, and feel really tired and want to stay in bed most of the time. I have a call in to my Doctor to see if I need to continue the treatment. I want to finish the treatment as long as it is safe to do so. I'm concerned about the DPD danger that I've read about.

I found everyone's posts here to be really helpful. Thanks to all!
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replied January 15th, 2012
Is this normal?
I am on day 8 of using Carac on my face. I am extremely uncomfortable,with itching and burning.I have red ,swollen weeping blisters all over. My nose and one small area on my cheek are clear. Supposed to do this for 4 weeks total. I am missing work and do not want to leave the house .I am miserable. Hope this is worth it. Wondering how long the healing process will take. Good to read others experiences.
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replied February 26th, 2009
day 16
i'm on day 16 and was trying so hard to find anyone going through the same thing as me and so very glad to find this from all of you. I'm miserable and feel like if I smile or laugh to hard my face is going to completely crack in half.
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User Profile
replied February 28th, 2009
Carac Treatment suggestion and question
First of all, I am NOT a physician of any kind. BUT - I have a Carac prescription, and I am on day 21 of 28 days.

I think the information provided thus far is pretty accurate. First week is nothing, definite response the 2nd week, and some pain and peeling the third week.

My dermatologist had a suggestion which might help some of you. He said, if it is really bothersome, discontinue it for a day or two. And then extend the treatment that much on the end. I skipped one day thus far.

I was hoping this would look better on day 29, but I see it takes 2 weeks to heal. Bummer. But . . . the alternative is scarier.

QUESTION
I started off using it every morning after showering. My refill now tells me to put it on at night, so it would wash off when I shower in the morning. I understand that it is a time-release drug - thus the once a day. The generic form requires 2 applications a day - I don't know when. I am wondering if the night time use is less effective because it only stays on 7 hours or so. Anyone know anything about that? Thanks.
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replied April 9th, 2011
single dose for Carac
Check with your doc to get a single dose version of Carac. Forget putting it on at night -- you won't sleep due to pain. Better to sting and burn in the daytime while you're distracted with other stuff. To wash before applying, I put a full sink of barely tepid water, dip my face and hold for a second or two then gently wipe off with soft baby washcloth (still hurts likes hell, to be honest). There's no way around the pain but being sleep deprived will make you feel even more miserable and also slightly crazy.
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replied May 17th, 2012
morning wash
So reassuring to read that others on Carac have pain while healing and has released pent-up tears which have to roll off sideways to avoid the red-raw area on my cheek.
Regarding, the morning wash before RX is applied, hold, WITHOUT MOVING a sudsy soft washcloth over the area, let it soften the area. Rinse with the shower stream of water. Pat, PAT dry with a towel used only for that purpose. Dry for 10 minutes, then apply Carac, as prescribed. Thanks for your comments, everyone We are not alone,
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