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Aldara Molluscum (Imiquimod) Treatment

aldara molluscumAldara (Imiquimod) 5% cream is approved by the FDA for the treatment of external anogenital warts, actinic keratoses (pre-skin cancers) and superficial basal cell skin cancers. In addition to these approved uses, it is used for many other conditions "off label."

Aldara works by activating specific receptors in the body known as Toll-like receptors (specifically TLR-7).  By activating these receptors, Aldara causes the body's immune system to produce certain cytokines (natural chemicals), specifically interferon alpha, which helps the immune system to fight both viruses and tumors.  It is because of this mechanism that aldara molluscum therapy may in theory be successful.

Clinical studies have shown that imiquimod molluscum therapy is in fact successful1-3.  The studies show that approximately 50% of children treated show improvement or complete clearance.  Treatment ranges from 12-16 weeks with average applications being 3 time a week.

In general, Aldara is very well tolerated and safe.  There may at times be a local reaction consisting of redness, itching and irritation surrounding the molluscum lesions.  The treatment is used in the convenience of the patient's home and is easy to apply.  Treatment durations of 3-4 months however can be long making compliance a bit more difficult than some of the other molluscum treatments.

In summary, aldara molluscum treatment can be seen as a safe potential therapeutic option that works about half of the time and may take up to 4 months for complete success.

1 Pediatr Int. 2006 Aug;48(4):403-5.

2Cutis. 2004 Aug;74(2):134-8, 141-2.

3Br J Dermatol. 2003 Nov;149 Suppl 66:25-9.

 

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