Skin Home > Picato Uses

Picato is approved to treat a skin condition called actinic keratosis. This problem is caused by sun damage and results in scaly patches on the surface of the skin. Although it is not quite clear how this gel works, it is known that it causes the cells of actinic keratosis lesions to die. Picato is only approved for use in adults.

What Is Picato Used For?

Picato® (ingenol mebutate) is a prescription skin gel used to treat actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis. It can be used on actinic keratosis lesions of the face or body.
Actinic keratosis lesions are scaly bumps or patches on the surface of the skin that are caused by sun damage. They range in size and color. Although actinic keratoses may be unsightly, the more serious concern is that some lesions may progress to a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
Treatment for AK may include:
  • Freezing (cryosurgery)
  • Laser surgery
  • Medications.
Like most actinic keratosis medications, Picato usually causes skin reactions, which can sometimes be quite severe. However, one of the big advantages of Picato is that only two or three days of treatment are necessary, depending on the area of the body being treated, which makes treatment more tolerable and practical, compared to other treatments that are used for weeks or months.

How Does This Medicine Work?

It is not entirely clear how Picato works to treat actinic keratosis lesions, although it is known that it causes the cells of actinic keratoses to die.

Is It Safe for Children to Use Picato?

Picato is not approved for use in children younger than 18 years old, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. This is quite reasonable, considering that actinic keratosis is generally not a condition seen in children.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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