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What is Aldara 5% Cream?
Aldara cream is a treatment used for genital warts in men and women. These warts can appear on any area of the genitals: around the vagina and vulva, on the penis and scrotum, and around and inside the anus.
As well as treating genital warts, Aldara is prescribed to people with superficial basal cell carcinoma or actinic keratosis.
You can buy Aldara cream with Instant eCare.
How does Aldara work?
The active ingredient in Aldara cream is imiquimod, which is a kind of medicine called an immunomodulator. This helps your body’s immune system produce the substances that fight the Human Papilloma Virus that causes genital warts.
Do not use Aldara if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
You should talk to your doctor before using Aldara cream for genital warts if you’ve previously used Aldara, if you have an abnormal blood count or another similar treatment or you have problems with your immune system.
How do you use Aldara?
Always use Aldara as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. The cream is usually applied three times a week when treating genital warts. This could be on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example.
Wash your hands before and after applying the cream, and open a new sachet each time you apply cream.
How to use Aldara cream for genital warts: The best time to apply the cream is just before going to bed. Wash and dry the affected area. Open a new sachet of cream and apply a thin layer to the skin, rubbing it in until the cream vanishes. Throw away the sachet and any remaining cream. Leave the cream on for 6-10 hours without bathing or showering. After this time, wash the area with gentle soap and water.
Use Aldara as instructed until your warts have gone. This can be as quickly as 4 weeks but on average for women it takes around 8 weeks and for men around 12 weeks.
You shouldn’t use Aldara internally or on broken skin. You should also avoid contact with your eyes, lips and nostrils. Don’t use more cream than your doctor has prescribed, and don’t cover the area with bandages.
Men with genital warts on foreskin should be sure to wash underneath to prevent the foreskin tightening or swelling.
The cream should not be used in the urethra, inside the vagina, on your cervix or inside your anus.
How effective is Aldara cream?
Aldara is a clinically proven genital warts treatment. Medication for genital warts is generally more effective amongst non smokers than smokers.
Aldara cream treats the warts but can’t treat the virus that causes genital warts. Your body may clear the virus by itself in time but you may get more warts before that happens.
What are the main side effects of Aldara?
Like all medicines, Aldara can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them.
Three common side effects of Aldara cream when it is used to treat genital warts are:
- Redness and swelling
- Wearing away of the skin
- Flaky skin
For a full list of Aldara side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.