Aldara is a prescription medication that is used to treat certain skin conditions. The active ingredient in Aldara is imiquimod, which stimulates the immune system to fight viruses and abnormal skin growths. Aldara is commonly used to treat genital warts, actinic keratosis (a precancerous skin condition), and certain types of basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
When Not to Take Aldara
Aldara may not be suitable for everyone. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you have any of the following conditions:
- Allergy to imiquimod or any other ingredients in Aldara
- Weakened immune system
- Open sores or wounds on the area to be treated
- Pregnant or planning to become pregnant
Aldara and Your Health
While Aldara is generally safe to use, it may cause certain side effects. Common side effects include:
- Redness, swelling, or itching at the application site
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, and body aches
These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is important to contact your healthcare provider.
Aldara is typically applied to the affected area once a day, before bedtime. Before applying Aldara, wash the area with mild soap and water and dry it thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of the cream to cover the entire affected area and rub it in gently. Wash your hands immediately after applying Aldara.
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
An overdose of Aldara is unlikely to occur, but if it does, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of overdose may include severe skin reactions and flu-like symptoms.
What to Watch Out For
Aldara may interact with other medications, including:
- Other skin products that contain the same active ingredient (imiquimod)
- Medications that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids or cancer chemotherapy drugs
It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking to avoid any potential drug interactions.
Q: Can I use Aldara during pregnancy?
A: Aldara should not be used during pregnancy as it may harm the unborn baby. It is important to discuss all potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider before using Aldara if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Q: How long should I use Aldara for genital warts?
A: The duration of treatment with Aldara for genital warts may vary. It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Typically, Aldara is applied 3 times a week for up to 16 weeks.
Q: Can I apply Aldara to broken or open skin?
A: No, Aldara should not be applied to broken or open skin. It is important to wait until the skin has healed before applying the medication.
Q: Can I apply makeup over Aldara?
A: Yes, you can apply makeup over Aldara once the cream has dried. However, it is recommended to wait at least 1 hour after applying Aldara before applying makeup.
Q: Can Aldara be used on children?
A: Aldara is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of Aldara in pediatric patients have not been established.