Aldara cream is a prescription medication used to treat actinic keratosis (a condition caused by too much sun exposure) on the face and scalp, as well as biopsy-confirmed, primary superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC) in immunocompetent adults, and external genital and perianal warts (condylomata acuminata) in adults.
Aldara cream contains the active ingredient imiquimod, which helps the body’s immune system to produce natural substances that fight against the skin conditions. Imiquimod is applied topically to the affected area once daily, with the duration of treatment varying depending on the specific condition being treated.
Uses and Dosage
Aldara cream should be applied to the affected area once daily before bedtime and should be left on the skin for approximately 8 hours before washing it off. Before and after applying the medication, make sure to wash your hands properly. Apply a thin layer of the cream to the affected area as directed by your healthcare provider. The duration of use will depend on your medical condition and response to treatment, so do not alter your dose or stop using the medication without consulting your doctor. Do not leave the medication on longer than prescribed, as this may lead to adverse effects.
Common Side Effects of Aldara Cream (Imiquimod):
- Changes in skin color
- Leaking of clear fluid
Serious Side Effects of Aldara Cream (Imiquimod):
- Chest pain
- Formation of sores, blisters, or ulcers
- Muscle ache
- Severe bleeding on the site
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Unusual skin growth
Form and Strength
Aldara Cream (Imiquimod) is available in the following forms and strength:
Aldara Cream: Cream
- Do not use Aldara cream if you are allergic to imiquimod or any of the ingredients in the cream.
- Aldara cream should not be used on open wounds, sunburned skin or if your skin is irritated or broken.
- Aldara cream should be used with caution in patients with pre-existing autoimmune conditions or skin conditions like dermatitis or psoriasis.
- Imiquimod can weaken condoms and diaphragms, Use alternative methods of contraception during treatment and for at least one week after treatment.
- Aldara cream should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed, and you should consult your healthcare provider before using it.
- Imiquimod should be kept out of the reach of children and should not be used on children under 12 years of age unless specifically directed by a healthcare provider.
- Aldara cream may cause skin reactions that can be severe, including irritation, swelling, and blisters. If you experience any of these symptoms or any other unusual symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Imiquimod should not be used on areas of skin that are not affected by the condition being treated.
- Aldara cream may interact with other medications or supplements that you are currently taking, so it is important to let your healthcare provider know about all the medications and supplements you are currently taking.
- Imiquimod may weaken the immune system, so it should be used with caution in patients with weakened immune systems or immune-related disorders.
- Imiquimod should not be used for more than the recommended duration or more frequently than prescribed.
- Aldara cream should not be applied to mucous membranes or inside the anus, and you should avoid sexual contact while the cream is on your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Aldara cream be applied to children?
Aldara cream should not be used on children under 12 years of age unless specifically directed by a healthcare provider.
How long does it take for Imiquimod to work?
The duration of Imiquimod use and the time taken to see improvements will depend on the condition being treated. Improvement is usually seen within weeks to months of starting treatment.
Can Imiquimod be used during pregnancy?
Imiquimod should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed. Before using Imiquimod while pregnant, you should consult your healthcare provider.