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What Is Imiquimod Used For?

Available as a skin cream, imiquimod is used for the treatment of several skin conditions. For example, this prescription medicine may be recommended in people with actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, or external genital or perianal warts. Unapproved uses of the drug include the treatment of other forms of skin cancer or warts.

An Overview of Uses for Imiquimod

Imiquimod (Aldara®, Zyclara®) is a prescription skin cream approved to treat the following conditions:
 
  • Actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis, of the face or scalp in adults with normal immune systems
  • Superficial basal cell carcinoma in adults with normal immune systems
  • External genital warts and perianal warts in people 12 years old and older.
 
Aldara is approved for all three uses, while Zyclara is approved for treating actinic keratosis and genital/perianal warts only.
 

Using Imiquimod for Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis lesions are scaly bumps or patches on the surface of the skin caused by sun damage. They range in size and color. Although actinic keratoses may be unsightly, the more serious concern is that some actinic keratosis lesions may progress to a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
 
Treatment for AK may include:
 
  • Freezing (cryosurgery)
  • Laser surgery
  • Medications.
 
Although actinic keratosis lesions can appear anywhere that is exposed to the sun, imiquimod is approved only for use on the face or scalp.
 
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Imiquimod Cream Information

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