Aldara cream contains the active ingredient imiquimod. Imiquimod is an immune response modifier. It causes your body to produce more interferon. Interferon is a substance which your body produces naturally to help fight viruses and some skin diseases. Although the exact way that Aldara works is unknown, it is believed to be due to its effects on the immune system.
Actinic keratoses are thickened, scaly, pre-cancerous patches of skin on the face and scalp, usually caused by too much sun exposure. Actinic keratoses are also known as solar keratoses. Aldara is used for several skin conditions. Your doctor will tell you where to apply Aldara cream, and how often and for how long to apply it for your condition.
Aldara should be applied just before bedtime and left on the skin for 6-10 hours. If your skin condition reappears you need to talk to your doctor.
The most common side effects with Aldara cream are skin reactions at the treatment site including:
A sore, blister, or ulcer
Skin that becomes hard or thickened
Scabbing and crusting
Most of these skin reactions are mild to moderate and they disappear when treatment is completed. They may be signs that the product is working. If your skin reacts badly or the skin reaction becomes too uncomfortable when using Aldara cream, wash the cream off with mild soap and water and contact your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you have a treatment rest period of several days.
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