Aldara / Imiquimod

Aldara / Imiquimod

Best used: AM/PMCaution: Variable responseBest for: Superficial skin cancers, solar keratosis
Comments: Marked inflammatory response in someMode of action: Pro-inflammatoryScience Score:



What is the science behind Imiquimod therapy?

Aldara or imiquimod is an immune modifier. It works by modulating the Tol-7 receptors found in the skin. This chemical upregulates your immune system to fight both skin cancer & viral infections by increasing chemicals known as cytokines.

What skin cancers & conditions respond to Aldara therapy?

Aldara is effective against the following pre-cancerous lesions & skin cancer-

  • Solar keratosis or sunspots, including pigmented actinic keratosis.
  • Basal cell cancers including superficial variants.
  • Intraepidermal carcinomas or Bowen’s Disease
  • Cancer associated papilloma virus

How long should I use Aldara for?

The duration of treatment will depend on the diagnosis. As a guide-

  • BCCs or basal cell cancers: 5 nights a week for 6 weeks.
  • Solar keratosis: 3 nights per week for 4 weeks. Repeat if required.
  • Wart & viral infections: 2-5 nights a week for 4-12 weeks.

Davin’s Viewpoint on the use of Aldara

Dermatologist, Brisbane. Australia.

Though it has mainstream use, some dermatologists are not a fan of this topical as it has systemic side effects, including the warning about autoimmune conditions such as lupus & chronic fatigue syndrome. Regardless it has been cleared by the TGA for use in Australia for many skin conditions. Dermatologists use Aldara for the management of viral infections including genital warts, periungual warts, flat plane warts & even moluscum contagtousoum.  

There are many options available for the management of sunspots. I personally perform procedural dermatology including lasers, peels & in some cases photodynamic therapy. Be guided by your GP, plastic surgeon or dermatologist regarding appropriate treatments.


Join the conversation

Join Dr Davin Lim on Instagram to stay up to date


Enquire now!

Get In Touch

Quick Contact

Dr Lim has unparalleled experience in dermatology. Fill in the form below and he will get back to you with your query
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.