My Efudix Diary

by Audrey Thomas

Days 25 >

I love a sunburnt country …

Growing up under the Australian Sun

Since I was in junior primary school my family has lived in the driest state in the driest continent on earth. Cool fact.

But hot, dangerous summers.

Day 24 - Things that make you go, hmm ...

24 July 2017

I got an unexpected call today from a lovely woman who works at one of our local councils, wanting to have a quick chat with me about a public talk I’m presenting at their city library in a couple of weeks. The talk is about the book I co-authored with my brilliant biz partner, Emma ( She was calling to check whether I’m happy to speak with a local newspaper between now and then to do an article on the event and to showcase the book. I suggested that if they wanted to take a photo for the piece, then one of the photos I already have for press releases may be the best option.

It was instantly confronting to consider having a photo of me published right now, with my face as it is and with no makeup. Vanity kicked in. Hmm, interesting.

Earlier this year when the book was launched globally, Emma and I did our first TV appearance, many radio interviews and we were featured in magazines and online publications  etc all over the world.

Nerve-wracking and exciting? Definitely.

But would I have put myself ‘out there’ and taken those opportunities if my face was looking as it does tonight? After lots of thought, the answer is ‘probably’. With the caveat being that I could have the opportunity to explain the treatment and why I’m doing this, and ask others to do the same for themselves. Phew, glad I got that sorted.

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Day 25 - One of those days

25 July 2017

Feeling a bit tired, irritable and sore today. ‘Nuff said.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a sprinkling of good humour and a brighter disposition. Promise.

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Day 26 - No filter ...

26 July 2017

There’s nothing like the honesty of kids. Will , 10, said to me this morning, while eyeing my face critically, ‘Yep, it's really kicked in now, mum. You've definitely lit up like a beacon!’ Thanks for that confirmation.

A couple of the spots on my forehead and cheek seem to be improving, which is promising. I made the decision today though to postpone some face-to-face coaching I had booked in for next week - I think it may take a bit longer before I take my face out professionally, so to speak.

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Day 27 - Just made it ...

27 July 2017

With only one day to go, I'm pleased I've been able to make the 20g tube of Efudix last for all of the 56 applications. I've been sticking with the instruction to apply only a very thin layer across my face (a pea-sized blob), and I've eked out the tube’s contents almost perfectly. I'm pretty sure I couldn’t get more than a day or so out of the tube beyond tomorrow.

Some days it felt like I had to really stretch the dose as my skin feels so dehydrated it has been absorbing the Efudix immediately on contact. Rubbing my face to disperse the cream evenly has been one of the least pleasant aspects of the treatment (that's the polite way of phrasing it).

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Day 28 - Last day of applying the Efudix

28 July 2017

Yay! Today is the last day of applying the Efudix! But something else occurred today too ...

I knew this day would come and I must say I have not been looking forward to it … I am now weeping but not in a gentle tears kinda way! I’m in what is called the erosion phase of the treatment. Yes, erosion! And it’s just as ‘nice’ as it sounds. Some of the sores have started weeping and then crusting over. Then unfortunately, when washing my face, the crusty/flakey bits wash away and it opens the spot/patch of inflamed skin again causing it to weep or bleed. I know this isn’t an appealing thing to talk about but I promised on Day 1 that I’d be ‘keeping it real!’ for the benefit of others who are also currently undergoing the treatment or contemplating it. I’m so glad I had experiences of others’ online to refer to when I was kicking off this process.

And for the record, I would do it all again - WITHOUT DOUBT - to reduce the risk of precancerous cells developing further and to identify any BCCs or SCCs already lurking beneath the surface.

PS Have you booked you skin check yet?

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Day 29 (Day 1 Recovery) - Shiny & Bright!

29 July 2017

It was so great this morning to realise that the only thing I'd be putting on my skin today would be paw paw ointment. At least, that was until I realised (duh …) that anything I have to put on my face right now is going to give more of an ‘ouch, that’s sore’ rather than ‘ahhh, that’s nice’ reaction.

Once applied, the paw paw ointment does give one’s face a ‘caked in grease’ look but it feels like my skin is now on the road to recovery. I can honestly say that I've never looked so shiny and bright!

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Day 30 (Day 2 Recovery) - Hiding in the car at hockey

30 July 2017

A very early start for the boys’ hockey today - both needed to be at their respective ground by 7.30am - one a home game at Golden Grove and the other all the way down at Seacliff. To reduce the time I had to be out in the elements and driving, I got the closer, home game. Score!

I’ve noticed some improvement on my forehead with less spots and less discomfort when washing my face and applying the paw paw to that area. Also, I think generally, the inflamed areas are looking less ‘angry’ today. Still sore, especially when I need to top-up the paw paw ointment, but less sore than a few days ago, I think.

Any comments or questions?


  • Monica Sauer

    Reply Reply September 8, 2018

    Thanks for your road and travel on efidix
    Wish I had found your site before using cream
    Had symptoms headaches ,itching of whole body plus scalp ,burning of treated sore at time very unbearable,
    some tummy ache and very tight face skin ,laughing difficult ,eyes dry and best closed.
    Did not get much info from Drs looked up on internet (dr google) told to read instruction included with cream
    Could apply Soberlene cream and light make up if going out and if needed.
    Found out it does not help
    Luke warm water splashes on face and dry lightly with paper towel does bring relieve for a while best though is
    be brave and suffer in silence difficult if you can BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO BE BRAVE AND PREVAIL FOR YOUR SELF.
    Dr said take a Phenergan tab for itching which does help a bit
    Suggested apply cream at night found out better day time you then don’t rub cream on pillow .
    I’m on my 3de week and taking one strides at a time and waiting for the end of treatment.
    I was told had 5/6 weeks of treatment
    Do you have any advice or comments
    Thanks a million for your blog and have learnt a lot
    Monica Sauer

  • carrington brown

    Reply Reply February 24, 2021

    Thanks. This was so helpful I’m using for 21 days and am on day 12. Only a few red spots do this was so helpful!!

    • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

      Reply Reply February 25, 2021

      You’re welcome. All the best with your treatment!

      • Natalie

        Reply Reply July 30, 2021

        So happy to have come across this. I’m on day 11 and apart from 3 spots looking red, absolutely zero change to rest of face. I was expecting to be bright red and blistery by now!

        • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

          Reply Reply August 11, 2021

          Hi Natalie. Thanks for your comments and I hope all is going well with your treatment. No matter what, it’s worth it. All the best, Audrey

  • Debbie Griffith

    Reply Reply April 20, 2021

    Hi, I wish I’d read your blog before a d that I was t relying on my memory of treatment 7 years ago! I did not read or follow instructions about hand washing but luckily hand done a somewhat decent job at it. I did not read about putting other creams or ointments on, which I’ve done daily. No big deal except the past 4 days have applied lots to my chest because of dryness and pain. I put it on my arms and chest at the same time. My arms are evolving yet my chest is really hurting

    My chest is getting okay whereas my arms really haven’t. No I’m out of town and wondering if I need a doctor. And, I don’t have a good way of preventing sun from getting on my chest, much less my arms. It’s mid April and too darn hot to wear long sleeves. I am mostly concerned with how to know that somethings gone wrong or if I have an infection. Btw, what is pawpaw cream? Thanks for documenting your experience. It has helped.

  • Nick Munroe

    Reply Reply October 15, 2021

    Wow. Great to see your efudix diary.

    I started this treatment for 1 week but stopped after having mild side effects. It was making me go to the toilet a lot and I had the nausea and headaches.

    I plucked up the courage to resume and I’ve done a month of this treatment on my scalp. It’s now finally starting to scab over.

    Im now on day 12 on my forehead, nose and cheeks. I’ve really broken out. Dry around my nose and covered in spots on my forehead. Applying the cream is almost like a relief, as it’s so moist it doesn’t enable the itching you have when the cream is not applied.

    I had the headache side effects to start. Im now having the stomach pains in the lower abdomen. Only minor pain at most. Almost a tingling sensation. Making me go to the toilet a lot more than usual. Both number 1 and 2 😀

    Im going to get to day 21 and then stop. Can’t wait for the day.

    • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

      Reply Reply October 22, 2021

      Hi Nick. Glad you’ve found my Efudix diary useful and thank you for sharing your experience too. All the best with the rest of your treatment and recovery!

  • Dell Stone

    Reply Reply October 20, 2021

    Hi Audrey, Very interesting, many thanks for your blogs! I have to use this cream 3 times a week for 6 weeks. The headaches etc. were not
    explained to me. I am on Herceptin for Breast cancer, so I hope it is not counterproductive, Doctor did not explain anything to me.
    I am not keen on the chemo characteristics of this cream. I am only going to put it on spots here and there on my face.
    I would have loved to have seen the final result of your treatment. Did it work? How did your skin look when you finished the treatment and
    1 month later. I am curious to find out if it worked and if it is worth the chemo effects as well. Hope you are happy with your results after all your
    Best regards,
    Dell Stone.

    • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

      Reply Reply October 22, 2021

      Hi Dell, thanks for sharing your experience with Efudix and for taking the time to get in touch. I’m glad you’ve found the blog useful to read about my Efudix experience as you tread the same path. When I was researching Efudix and looking for a similar diary, I struggled to find other fellow Australians, which is why I thought I’d record my progress.

      I trust your treatment is going as well as it possibly can for you. Unpleasant as it may have been at the time (and it could have been worse), I can genuinely say though that if I need to do it again, I will. The peace of mind in having done what I could to mitigate the high risk of skin cancer (in my case) was worth the inconvenience, discomfort and concern that I experienced through the process. All of those things are largely forgotten now but I know it was the right choice for me and I think the outcomes were worth it.

      Wishing you all the best for your treatment and hoping it’s as pain-free as possible for you and you achieve the outcomes you’re after. Take care,

  • john

    Reply Reply April 6, 2022

    Thanks so much for your diary Audrey. I’m on day 7 of a 42 day programme, applying it once a day (nightly). So far no side effects. Top of scalp beginning to lift and a bit tender. Worst aspect for me is that i’m a gardener(Melbourne)! Like some others, my doctor gave very minimal info. Just wondering what medications can be taken for itchiness/pain etc if/when it comes? Cheers.

    • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

      Reply Reply April 11, 2022

      Hi John. Thanks for your comments last week – hopefully now you’re a few more days into the treatment, it’s continued being OK for you. Being a gardener (anywhere in Australia!) is definitely not ideal in terms of sun exposure and then this treatment but it’s great that you’re doing it. My skin specialist made it really clear to me that the best time to undertake the treatment is in the middle of winter when it’s the lowest possible daily UV, so hopefully you’re able to keep out of the sun as much as possible while using the Efudix (and during recovery).
      I found that some days paw paw ointment was a relief for the itchiness but other days it was just too tender to rub anything into my skin. All the best for your treatment and I hope you get the results you’re after, cheers Audrey

  • Angel

    Reply Reply June 4, 2022

    👋👋👋 Hello and thank you so much for documenting your story..
    I appreciate that I may ask questions if you are still replying to comments.
    My husband is on day 14. When applying the cream at night do you leave it on all night,he was told not to sleep with it on his face.
    Did you wash your face before applying.
    He is very happy to see you here with all your honesty. Thank you. Heide wiesel in Florida. Glad everything turned out for the best ❤️

  • Marina

    Reply Reply August 13, 2022

    Thanks so much Audrey.
    Three days ago I started my treatment/experience with Efudix.

    many thanks for your blogs

    WA Perth

    • Audrey [My 15 Minutes]

      Reply Reply August 17, 2022

      Thanks for your comment and I hope all goes well with your treatment, Marina.

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