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Keywords:

  • Skin cancer;
  • keratoses;
  • self treatment;
  • skin cancer survey;
  • naturopathy

Summary

Participants in a community survey of skin cancer and solar keratoses were asked about their use of home remedies for these lesions. There were 164 persons aged between 20 and 69 years at high risk who said they treated these lesions themselves (7.8% of those surveyed). Half of the agents used were naturopathic and of these Euphorbia peplus was unanimously considered an effective treatment. Aloe vera was the most popular remedy and paw paw and creams such as lanolin were also popular despite their generally perceived lack of efficacy. Most of the self-treaters were at high risk of skin cancer and thus the danger of this home treatment is the likely failure to recognize invasive disease. Close medical supervision of the treatment of actinic lesions remains essential.