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Treating Specific Conditions With Imiquimod

Imiquimod Use for Genital or Perianal Warts

Genital warts are a common and bothersome problem. Symptoms of genital warts include skin-colored growths, much like warts on other parts of the body. They are usually not painful.
Male genital warts usually occur on the penis, and female genital warts can occur outside of the vulva or inside the vagina or cervix. Genital warts can also occur on the scrotum or anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus virus (HPV).
HPV warts are common and are easily spread through sexual contact. Condoms do not fully protect against HPV, as they often do not cover all of the warts.
Treatment for genital warts includes several ways to remove the warts, such as with chemical treatments or freezing. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options for genital warts. Over-the-counter (OTC) wart products should never be used for the treatment of genital warts. There is no cure for genital warts; the warts may disappear and return on their own.
Imiquimod may help your body get rid of genital or perianal warts. Studies show that more people using imiquimod had a complete disappearance of their warts, compared to people using a cream that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo).

Using Imiquimod for Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma occurs when cancer cells form in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It is the most common form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is generally a slow-growing cancer. It rarely spreads to other areas of the body. However, if left untreated, it can grow into surrounding tissue, where it can cause damage.
Basal cell carcinoma can occur anywhere, but is usually found on areas of the skin that are routinely exposed to natural or artificial sunlight. Some of these areas include the:
  • Head
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Hands
  • Arms.
Certain people may have a higher risk for developing basal cell carcinoma. This includes people who:
  • Have been exposed to large amounts of natural or artificial light
  • Have scars or burns on the skin
  • Have chronic skin inflammation
  • Take immunosuppressant medications
  • Have light-colored skin.
Treatment for most basal cell carcinoma involves some kind of surgery. Generally, the cancer is removed completely during a biopsy and no further treatment is required. Radiation therapy may be used to treat areas that are difficult to treat with surgery.
Imiquimod is an option when surgery is not appropriate to treat the cancer. It is specifically approved for superficial (not deep) basal cell cancer of the following areas of the body:
  • The trunk (excluding the genital/anal area)
  • Neck
  • Extremities (excluding the feet and hands).
It is not approved for nonsuperficial basal cell cancer lesions, such as nodular and morpheaform (fibrosing or sclerosing) types.
Only Aldara is approved for treating superficial basal cell carcinoma; Zyclara is not approved for this use.
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Imiquimod Cream Information

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