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ABC6: Garden weed used to fight skin cancer

Did you know sap from a certain garden weed found in backyards and along bike paths can help stop cancer before it starts? Recently, OhioHealth dermatologist Michael Conroy, MD, spoke with Terri Sullivan of ABC6 about Picato, a gel made from the sap of the milkweed plant that works to attack sun damage and stop an early formation of skin cancer called actinic keratosis.

Picato for Treatment of Pre-cancerous Skin Conditions

Dr.Conroy warns that when it comes to sun damage, the scalp, tops of the ears and backs of the hands are typical targets.

“A lot of the time you’ll see people who have seen lots of sun over the years, and they’ll start to get these early formations of skin cancers called actinic keratosis,” explains Dr. Conroy.

For those who have this pre-cancerous skin condition, Picato can be applied over the course of 2-3 days and left to work its magic. Initially, it may cause the skin to become red, irritated, itchy and even painful; however, two, three, four months down the road, the affected skin will look like new.

And while Picato is almost always covered by insurance, you should speak with your doctor about whether or not the treatment is right for you.