Skin Cancer Home > Aldara Uses

Aldara is a medicated skin cream approved for the treatment of actinic keratosis, superficial basal cell carcinoma, and external genital and perianal warts. There are also occasions where a healthcare provider may recommend off-label (unapproved) uses for Aldara, such as treating various forms of skin cancer. It is not exactly clear how the drug works, but it may help activate the immune system.

What Is Aldara Used For?

Aldara® (imiquimod cream) is a prescription skin cream that is 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 Use 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, Aldara is approved only for use on the face or scalp.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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