Contains the active ingredient: Imiquimod, which is a type of medicine called an immunomodulator. It is used to treat three different skin conditions: genital warts, small superficial skin cancers and actinic keratoses.
Imiquimod acts by stimulating the body's own defence mechanisms. It is thought that it works by binding to immune cells in the skin, causing them to release natural defence chemicals called cytokines. One such cytokine is called alpha interferon.
Alpha interferon and other cytokines have many functions in the immune system. They help fight viral infections by preventing viruses from multiplying in cells. They also prevent abnormal or malignant cells from increasing in numbers.
Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Aldara cream stimulates the immune cells in the skin to attack the virus, which cures the warts.
Superficial (non-malignant) skin cancers called basal cell carcinomas occur when certain skin cells multiply in an abnormal and uncontrolled way. This cream stimulates the body to attack the abnormal cells, which shrinks the cancerous growth.
Actinic keratoses are rough areas of skin caused by sun damage over many years, eg from sunbathing or using sunbeds, or working outdoors. They occur in fair-skinned people, whose skin is particularly sensitive to the damaging effect of UV rays. The skin lesions are usually harmless, however about two percent will turn into a skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). Some small actinic keratoses may disappear on their own. However, the chance of an actinic keratosis turning into a skin cancer falls if the actinic keratosis is treated early. This cream stimulates the body to attack the abnormal or damaged skin cells.
What is it used for?
External genital warts and warts around the anus.
Small superficial skin cancers (basal cell carcinomas).
Rough areas of skin caused by sun damage (actinic keratoses). The cream is used for non-raised lesions on the face or scalp, in people with a healthy immune system when other treatments are not appropriate.
1 box contains 12 sachets