Aldara Cream (Imiquimod) Product Information
Aldara cream is a prescription medicine for treating actinic keratosis , a condition usually caused by too much sun exposure that affects the face and scalp. It can also be prescribed to treat minor superficial basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. Your doctor may prescribe Aldara cream if you have external genital warts.
What is Aldara Cream used for?
Aldara Cream is also marketed as Imiquimod. It is an immune response modifier that is designed to cure people diagnosed with actinic keratosis. This is a medical condition triggered by excessive sun exposure and it attacks the face and scalp.
Apart from actinic keratosis, Imiquimod is used to treat genital warts. However, it will only be prescribed when the warts are appearing outside the body.
It does not cure genital warts though, as the virus (HPV) that causes warts remains in the body for life.
Aldara Cream is used to treat minor superficial basal cell carcinoma. This is a form of mild skin cancer that may be healed with a cream when surgery is not suitable. Aldara is available to adults and kids who are at least twelve years old.
How Aldara cream will be taken will depend on the condition being treated. So, prior to applying it to the affected areas, it is best to wash your hands and the area being treated. Let the area dry for at least ten minutes prior to applying the cream. If this area is bruised or wounded, don’t apply Aldara Cream on it, but wait until the area heals.
Use just a small amount of the cream as a lot of it can be more damaging than helping. Once you finish applying, wash your hands to remove the medicine. Usually, Aldara is applied two to five times a week for four months.
If treating actinic keratosis, apply only twice a week or two different days of the week. Continue for sixteen weeks. Just a thin film is needed and should be rubbed in until you don’t see it anymore. Use this medicine for eight hours every night and remove it in the morning with water and mild soap.
If treating superficial basal cell carcinoma, the cream needs to be applied five times a week. This can simply be from Monday to Friday; stop after six weeks.
It is important to apply the cream from the Aldara packet to the area you are treating and the surrounding skin. Ensure that you rub it in until you cannot see it anymore. Leave the cream overnight or for eight straight hours and remove it with soap and water in the morning.
Side effects are possible when applying the cream. However, they will occur when you use more cream than necessary. Additionally, the skin condition will worsen if you just apply the Aldara cream to it without seeing your doctor.
Skin irritation and bruising may occur when you apply more than needed or if the cream is applied to unhealthy skin. To avoid side effects, follow your doctor’s instructions.
Prior to applying Aldara, make sure you inform your doctor about the following:
- Your skin issues, including sunburn
- Whether you have an autoimmune disorder
- Whether you have graft-versus-host disease
- If you have had other treatments for genital warts including surgery or treatments for actinic keratosis
- If recently you have received cord blood transplant or bone marrow transplant.
- As it is not clear whether Aldara could affect an unborn baby, don’t use when pregnant unless your doctor asks you to.
- Don’t have sexual intercourse when Aldara is already applied as it can make the diaphragm or condom rubber weaker, making it prone to tearing