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New gel treatment launched for actinic keratosis

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A new treatment for the effects of sun-damaged skin has been launched in the UK.

Ingenol mebutate (Picato) gel is a topical treatment licensed for the cutaneous treatment of non-hyperkeratotic, non-hypertrophic actinic keratosis in adults – a type of skin damage caused by long-term sun or UV exposure.

Actinic keratoses are small crusty, scaly or crumbly patches of skin which commonly occur in people that have had a lot of sun exposure. Lesions may be red, light brown or skin-coloured, and dry or rough to touch.

Ingenol mebutate is a once-daily treatment derived from the sap of the plant Euphorbia peplus. It is applied over two or three days, as opposed to three weeks or three months for other existing therapies.

Trial data showed that three days’ application with ingenol mebutate 150mcg/g on the face or scalp led to an 83% median reduction in the number of actinic keratosis lesions, according to its manufacturer Leo Pharma.

The treatment was accepted for use in Scotland in March by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

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