5-Fluorouracil in the Treatment of Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature

Vidhi V. Shah, Adam S. Aldahan, Stephanie Mlacker, Mohammed Alsaidan, Sahal Samarkandy, Keyvan Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Hypertrophic (HTSs) and keloid scars are common dermatological complaints produced by disruption of the normal wound-healing process. Despite a wide array of therapeutic options available to treat these lesions, HTSs and keloids continue to pose a significant challenge to clinicians in everyday practice. The chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is a well-known treatment option reserved for recalcitrant HTSs and keloid lesions. We present clinicians with a comprehensive review of the published data concerning the use of 5-FU in the treatment of HTSs and keloids. The current evidence suggests that 5-FU is a safe and practical alternative for the treatment of HTSs and keloids as it may substantially improve the appearance of proliferative scars and reduce the chance of recurrence. This therapeutic option is most effective in conjunction with adjuvant therapy such as corticosteroids. Additional randomized controlled clinical trials with large sample sizes should be conducted to corroborate the existing efficacy and safety data in patients with HTSs and keloids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-183
Number of pages15
JournalDermatology and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • 5-FU
  • Fluorouracil
  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloids
  • Scars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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