Sun Damage: There's More Than Meets the Eye

Senior PGA Golfer and ESPN Commentator Andy North is One of the

Millions Who Knows Firsthand the Invisible Dangers of Sun Exposure



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Dermik Laboratories, Inc.

    BERWYN, Pa., April 18 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Wrinkles,
 fine lines and age spots aren't the only negative results of cumulative sun
 exposure.  One in six -- or roughly 46 million -- Americans* will develop an
 actinic keratosis in their lifetime, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
     Actinic keratosis (AK), an evolving form of skin cancer, is often
 invisible to the naked eye.  If left untreated, up to 10 percent can turn into
 squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that can be fatal.  People aged
 50 and over who have had significant sun exposure or a history of repeated
 sunburns and those who tend to freckle and burn rather than tan in the sun are
 at greatest risk for AKs.
     Pro-golfer and two-time U.S. Open Championship winner Andy North was
 alarmed when he was diagnosed with an actinic keratosis.  "When my
 dermatologist told me I had an actinic keratosis I was nervous because I had
 never heard of it before.  Luckily, we caught it pretty early and were able to
 treat it before it turned into something more serious," said Mr. North.
 "I wouldn't trade my years as a professional golfer for anything, but I'm
 paying the price for them.  Now I know what to look out for and I also
 understand the importance of seeing a dermatologist regularly and wearing sun
 protection year round."
 
     Actinic Keratosis: A Deeper Issue
     AKs begin under the skin's surface, then emerge as rough or scaly areas
 that feel like sandpaper to the touch.  They can be pink, tan, red or the same
 color as your skin, so they're more easily recognized by touch than by sight.
 AKs are commonly found on areas that receive the most sun exposure such as the
 face, scalp, arms and back of hands.
     Joseph Jorizzo, MD, professor and chair, Department of Dermatology, Wake
 Forest University School of Medicine, believes actinic keratoses are vastly
 underdiagnosed.  "Actinic keratoses are an extremely common result of sun
 exposure that can evolve into an invasive, life-threatening form of skin
 cancer, but most people are unaware of AKs and do not seek the proper
 treatment," said Dr. Jorizzo.  "Luckily, actinic keratoses are easy to treat.
 The best way to prevent an actinic keratosis from becoming a more progressive
 form of skin cancer is to see a dermatologist for a complete skin examination
 and treatment."
     Carac(TM) (fluorouracil cream) Cream, 0.5%, is a new once-a-day, topical
 treatment for actinic keratoses of the face and anterior scalp that has been
 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Carac provides patients
 with an effective actinic keratosis treatment with convenient once-daily
 dosing, and a rapid recovery of treatment-related irritation.  In clinical
 trials with Carac, this irritation generally resolved within two weeks.
     "This new cream can find and treat the earliest actinic keratoses before
 they're even visible to the naked eye.  Using a fluorouracil cream like Carac,
 in combination with regular visits to the dermatologist for cancer screenings,
 may offer patients a real improvement in therapy," said Dr. Jorizzo.
     Fluorouracil is a form of topical chemotherapy.  It mimics naturally
 occurring substances in the body, which are essential for cell division.
 Rapidly dividing cells, such as those in actinic keratoses, absorb the
 fluorouracil, causing them to die.
     In Carac clinical trials, the most common drug-related adverse events were
 application site reaction, which included: redness, dryness, burning, erosion,
 pain and swelling.  Some patients also experienced eye irritation, including
 stinging and burning.
     Carac should not be used by women who are pregnant, considering becoming
 pregnant or nursing.  Carac should also not be used by people with
 dihydropyrimidine dyhydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency.  Do not use Carac if
 you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Carac.  The active ingredient in
 Carac is fluorouracil.  Carac should not be used by those under 18 years of
 age.
 
     An Ounce of Prevention
     Prevention is good medicine.  To avoid actinic keratoses, follow careful
 sun protection practices.  It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen
 with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater every day, year round.
 Covering up with protective clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts,
 broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses is also helpful.
     Dermatologists recommend that adults over the age of 50 examine their skin
 from head to toe once every three months.  If anything unusual or suspicious
 is noticed, they should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
 
     *One in six of the 276,362,189 Americans (http://www.census.gov) will
 develop an AK in their lifetime, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
 
     About Dermik Laboratories
     Carac is marketed by Dermik Laboratories, Inc.  Dermik conducts the global
 dermatology business of Aventis Pharma AG, the pharmaceutical company of
 Aventis S.A.  Dermik is dedicated to providing innovative dermatological
 products to satisfy the needs of health care providers and patients.  Dermik
 focuses on treatments for a wide range of skin and nail problems, including
 acne, antifungals, pre-cancerous lesions, psoriasis and rosacea.  Its
 corporate headquarters are located in Berwyn, PA.
 
     Aventis Pharma AG is the pharmaceutical company of Aventis S.A.
 (NYSE:   AVE).  Aventis Pharma is dedicated to treating and preventing human
 disease through the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of innovative
 pharmaceutical products aimed at fulfilling unmet medical needs.  The
 corporate headquarters of Aventis Pharma is in Frankfurt, Germany.  Aventis
 Pharma is comprised of Aventis Pharmaceuticals; Aventis Pasteur, a world
 leader in vaccines, headquartered in Lyon, France; and Aventis Behring, a
 world leader in therapeutic proteins, headquartered in King of Prussia, PA.
 
     Aventis S.A., a world leader in pharmaceuticals and agriculture, is
 headquartered in Strasbourg, France.  The company employs approximately 95,000
 people in more than 120 countries.  Aventis was launched in December 1999
 through the merger of Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc S.A.
 
     Statements in this news release other than historical information are
 forward-looking statements subject to risk and uncertainties.  Actual results
 could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of
 resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of
 competition, the outcome of litigation, and the effectiveness of patent
 protection.  Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set
 forth in documents of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission, as well as the Registration Statement on Form F-4 of
 Rhone-Poulenc, S.A. (the previous name of Aventis) and other documents of
 Rhone-Poulenc, S.A. and Hoechst AG on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X81341536
 
 

SOURCE Dermik Laboratories, Inc.
    BERWYN, Pa., April 18 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Wrinkles,
 fine lines and age spots aren't the only negative results of cumulative sun
 exposure.  One in six -- or roughly 46 million -- Americans* will develop an
 actinic keratosis in their lifetime, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
     Actinic keratosis (AK), an evolving form of skin cancer, is often
 invisible to the naked eye.  If left untreated, up to 10 percent can turn into
 squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that can be fatal.  People aged
 50 and over who have had significant sun exposure or a history of repeated
 sunburns and those who tend to freckle and burn rather than tan in the sun are
 at greatest risk for AKs.
     Pro-golfer and two-time U.S. Open Championship winner Andy North was
 alarmed when he was diagnosed with an actinic keratosis.  "When my
 dermatologist told me I had an actinic keratosis I was nervous because I had
 never heard of it before.  Luckily, we caught it pretty early and were able to
 treat it before it turned into something more serious," said Mr. North.
 "I wouldn't trade my years as a professional golfer for anything, but I'm
 paying the price for them.  Now I know what to look out for and I also
 understand the importance of seeing a dermatologist regularly and wearing sun
 protection year round."
 
     Actinic Keratosis: A Deeper Issue
     AKs begin under the skin's surface, then emerge as rough or scaly areas
 that feel like sandpaper to the touch.  They can be pink, tan, red or the same
 color as your skin, so they're more easily recognized by touch than by sight.
 AKs are commonly found on areas that receive the most sun exposure such as the
 face, scalp, arms and back of hands.
     Joseph Jorizzo, MD, professor and chair, Department of Dermatology, Wake
 Forest University School of Medicine, believes actinic keratoses are vastly
 underdiagnosed.  "Actinic keratoses are an extremely common result of sun
 exposure that can evolve into an invasive, life-threatening form of skin
 cancer, but most people are unaware of AKs and do not seek the proper
 treatment," said Dr. Jorizzo.  "Luckily, actinic keratoses are easy to treat.
 The best way to prevent an actinic keratosis from becoming a more progressive
 form of skin cancer is to see a dermatologist for a complete skin examination
 and treatment."
     Carac(TM) (fluorouracil cream) Cream, 0.5%, is a new once-a-day, topical
 treatment for actinic keratoses of the face and anterior scalp that has been
 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Carac provides patients
 with an effective actinic keratosis treatment with convenient once-daily
 dosing, and a rapid recovery of treatment-related irritation.  In clinical
 trials with Carac, this irritation generally resolved within two weeks.
     "This new cream can find and treat the earliest actinic keratoses before
 they're even visible to the naked eye.  Using a fluorouracil cream like Carac,
 in combination with regular visits to the dermatologist for cancer screenings,
 may offer patients a real improvement in therapy," said Dr. Jorizzo.
     Fluorouracil is a form of topical chemotherapy.  It mimics naturally
 occurring substances in the body, which are essential for cell division.
 Rapidly dividing cells, such as those in actinic keratoses, absorb the
 fluorouracil, causing them to die.
     In Carac clinical trials, the most common drug-related adverse events were
 application site reaction, which included: redness, dryness, burning, erosion,
 pain and swelling.  Some patients also experienced eye irritation, including
 stinging and burning.
     Carac should not be used by women who are pregnant, considering becoming
 pregnant or nursing.  Carac should also not be used by people with
 dihydropyrimidine dyhydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency.  Do not use Carac if
 you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Carac.  The active ingredient in
 Carac is fluorouracil.  Carac should not be used by those under 18 years of
 age.
 
     An Ounce of Prevention
     Prevention is good medicine.  To avoid actinic keratoses, follow careful
 sun protection practices.  It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen
 with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater every day, year round.
 Covering up with protective clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts,
 broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses is also helpful.
     Dermatologists recommend that adults over the age of 50 examine their skin
 from head to toe once every three months.  If anything unusual or suspicious
 is noticed, they should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
 
     *One in six of the 276,362,189 Americans (http://www.census.gov) will
 develop an AK in their lifetime, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
 
     About Dermik Laboratories
     Carac is marketed by Dermik Laboratories, Inc.  Dermik conducts the global
 dermatology business of Aventis Pharma AG, the pharmaceutical company of
 Aventis S.A.  Dermik is dedicated to providing innovative dermatological
 products to satisfy the needs of health care providers and patients.  Dermik
 focuses on treatments for a wide range of skin and nail problems, including
 acne, antifungals, pre-cancerous lesions, psoriasis and rosacea.  Its
 corporate headquarters are located in Berwyn, PA.
 
     Aventis Pharma AG is the pharmaceutical company of Aventis S.A.
 (NYSE:   AVE).  Aventis Pharma is dedicated to treating and preventing human
 disease through the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of innovative
 pharmaceutical products aimed at fulfilling unmet medical needs.  The
 corporate headquarters of Aventis Pharma is in Frankfurt, Germany.  Aventis
 Pharma is comprised of Aventis Pharmaceuticals; Aventis Pasteur, a world
 leader in vaccines, headquartered in Lyon, France; and Aventis Behring, a
 world leader in therapeutic proteins, headquartered in King of Prussia, PA.
 
     Aventis S.A., a world leader in pharmaceuticals and agriculture, is
 headquartered in Strasbourg, France.  The company employs approximately 95,000
 people in more than 120 countries.  Aventis was launched in December 1999
 through the merger of Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc S.A.
 
     Statements in this news release other than historical information are
 forward-looking statements subject to risk and uncertainties.  Actual results
 could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of
 resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of
 competition, the outcome of litigation, and the effectiveness of patent
 protection.  Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set
 forth in documents of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission, as well as the Registration Statement on Form F-4 of
 Rhone-Poulenc, S.A. (the previous name of Aventis) and other documents of
 Rhone-Poulenc, S.A. and Hoechst AG on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X81341536
 
 SOURCE  Dermik Laboratories, Inc.