Would you believe it, an ingredient so irritating and so synthetic that no skin care company worth their salt would touch it with an all-natural barge pole has been saving our skin! It’s called Diphencyprone, is usually used in the treatment of hard-to-budge warts but has recently been outed as a skin-cancer chewer-upper.  Melanoma be gone, tell me more…..

Remember to check your moles. Picture from Wikipedia

The guys at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney have been studying the effects of this chemical on skin tumours over the last few years (see patent from 2007) but now feel ready to take things one step further with the help of a little publicity from Nine MSN, well OK, the Dermatology conference

Apparently the cream works because it is so irritating.  The allergen stimulates an immune response which results in a rash as well as an attack on skin tumor cells. The attack  weakens the tumor cells and eventually the tumors shrink!   While initial research is looking good this is still an experimental treatment for this deadly skin condition – the first line of defence is to cut the tumors out, ouch. So there you have it!  An itchy solution to a serious problem.

It just goes to show that highly irritant, synthetic chemicals may well have their moment under the sun. Maybe we shouldn’t be so ready to judge….


In case you are interested this chemical is also used in the treatment of Alopecia Areata (thought to be an autoimmune disease), in treating various skin diseases and for vitiligo.   Pretty powerful stuff!