Solaraze Gel

  • Best Results1-2 cycles
  • Treatment Recovery2-3 months
  • Procedure Time1 minute
  • Skin SpecialistGP
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkVariable
  • Cost$

Solaraze Gel

Solaraze gel is a topical treatment for sunspots-actinic keratosis. Though overseas studies have shown mediocre results in the clearance of solar keratosis, the actual efficacy in Australia is very low. It can be a useful adjunct to reduce recurrence of sunspots after PDT, lasers or other topicals.

FactsFacts on Solaraze Gel

  • This formulation consists of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory called diclofenac
  • Application frequency is in the morning & evening for up to three months
  • Solaraze has the least amount of inflammation compared to other topicals
  • Solaraze is not favoured by dermatologists as it has a low efficacy for clearing sunspots
  • This is a fluffy treatment, best used in low-risk sun damage patients

What is Solaraze Gel?

Solaraze is an anti-inflammatory gel that has been approved for the treatment of sunspots or solar keratosis. Compared to other topical agents such as Efudix & Aldara, Solaraze must be applied much longer. 

What types of sun damage responds best to Solaraze Gel?

Mild sun damage in low-risk patients. Solaraze is best for non-hypertrophic, flat, early, mild solar keratosis -actinic keratosis in non-immunocompromised patients who have too much time on their hands (probably applies to those who prescribe it as well).

To be fair, I occasionally prescribe this as a ‘mop up’ treatment after lasers or PDT, or as a prophylactic topical for actinic keratosis.

How do you use Solaraze Gel?

As with all medications, read the PI (product information). Your GP with an interest in skin cancer or your dermatologist will give you specific instructions that goes something like this-

  • Apply a thin layer up to twice a day for 2-3 months
  • Modulate your dose amount & frequency depending on your skin’s reaction
  • Give them a call if you are unsure about stuff

What aspects of your history are important prior to using Solaraze?

Your GP or skin cancer doctor would like to know-

  • If you have a bun in the oven (pregnant)
  • Have asthma
  • Have any skin issues including dermatitis or you have super sensitive skin
  • Any allergies to NSAIDS (as diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory)

Davin’s Viewpoint on Solaraze Gel

I was involved in the final trials of diclofenac in Europe in 2001-2002. Clinical efficacy depends on the papers referenced. Typically, efficacy ranges between 20-35% over the vehicle (hyaluronic acid). It is not that this topical does not work, the argument is the probability of clinical efficacy in the management of clinically significant solar damage.

Possibly diclofenac is best for mild solar keratosis – think the average punter living in Northern Europe. In contrast, the actinic-solar damage in Australia is much more severe, hence the lower clearance rates.

I prescribe Solaraze in three clinical situations. Firstly, if you had a documented clinical response to this medication, secondly as a ‘mop up’ following more effective field treatments such as fractional laser or PDT, & thirdly as off label chemoprophylaxis in patients with aggressive sun damage (I prefer pulse Efudix for this group).

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