Aldara for sunspots

  • Best Results4-16 weeks
  • Treatment Recovery1-3 weeks
  • Procedure Time2 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkVariable
  • Cost$

Aldara for sunspots

Aldara or imiquimod is an immune modifier. This gel wakes up your immune system to fight abnormal cells including solar keratosis, & superficial skin cancers such as BCCs & thin squamous cell cancers. It is also used to treat viral infections including warts & molluscum.

FactsFacts On Aldara

  • Aldara is a good treatment for some forms of skin cancer & sun damage
  • It is on the PBS for superficial BCCs
  • Application is three times a week as tolerated for up to 16 weeks
  • Side effects include flu like symptoms as well as rare activation of autoimmune conditions
  • Your dermatologist-skin cancer GP will discuss this treatment with you

What is Aldara?

Aldara or Imiquimod is a cream that modifies your immune system to destroy abnormal cells. The concentration of cream ranges between 3.75% to 5%. In Australia, only the 5% cream is available.

How does Aldara work?

This treatment uses your own immune system to fight the skin cancer cells & solar damage. The inflammation then destroys the skin cancer cells.

What types of skin cancer can Aldara treat?

On label indications for imiquimod 5% include-

  • Solar keratosis or sunspots-actinic keratosis. This included pigmented SKs.
  • Superficial basal cell carcinomas.

*Off label treatments include superficial SCCs & various other skin conditions.

*A biopsy may be taken by your dermatologist as this is under the PBS for sBCCs.

Will imiquimod cream cure all skin cancers & sunspots?

Nope. Imiquimod cream can cure or improve solar damage & superficial cancers, however like all cancer treatments, it has a failure rate. In the context of actinic keratosis, the efficacy is around 70-80%. Remaining sunspots may require additional treatment or a biopsy to exclude more sinister causes. Be guided by your dermatologists.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Aldara Treatment

As a procedural dermatologist, I do not use Aldara to treat sunspots & skin cancers, however I acknowledge that this is a good treatment with a high efficacy rate of clearance, especially for sunspots. Application frequency will vary depending on who you see.

One of the biggest problems with Aldara is the fact that it can potentially unmask or worsen autoimmune conditions, as it systematically stimulates the immune system. On this basis the prescribing physician should, ideally pre-warn the patient- especially if there is a personal or family history of immunity. Treatments such as high-density lasers or photodynamic therapy will circumvent this conversation; be guided by your dermatologist.

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