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User Reviews for Imiquimod topical to treat Keratosis

Also known as: Aldara, Zyclara

Imiquimod topical has an average rating of 7.0 out of 10 from a total of 56 ratings for the treatment of Keratosis. 52% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 14% reported a negative effect.

Imiquimod topical Rating Summary

7.0/10 average rating

56 ratings from 58 user reviews.

Compare all 32 medications used in the treatment of Keratosis.

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Reviews for Imiquimod topical

Scott876123 December 31, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “Have finished my first two week application and am about to start the second. I'm a 44 yo fair skinned male who rarely wore sunscreen as a kid and had my share of sunburns. Had a few Actinic Keratosis spots that kept coming back so doc put me on Zyclara for my forehead and cheeks. After reading the horror stories I was absolutely dreading it. To my delight the side effects were not bad at all, and I just had 4-5 spots flare up that looked like acne. I never post to things like this, but I hope some see this and know that not all people have the horrible effects of it. I can certainly sympathize with the ones who do though.”

8 / 10
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Max Moore January 23, 2014

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I used Zyclara for 2 months, applying it for a week and then taking a week off. I have to say, it does work. I had many pre-cancer spots on my forehead, face and shoulders, that stayed there for years, despite annual freezing treatments. Zyclara cleared up these spots, and they seem to be gone permanently. As for side effects, it was a terrible experience, but only for the first couple of weeks. Basically, the first week of treatment was Hell, the second week was Heck, and the third and fourth weeks were Gosh and Golly. So, only the first week of treatment was painful. For that first week of treatment, it was like being hit with both a body-aching flu and a sleeping sickness at the same time.”

9 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 13, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I am on week 5. I first used it on my arms with no result. So I decided to do my forehead. A few spots came out. Now I'm doing my chest area...major sun damage! I'm not going to lie, it itches and burns. If all these spots are pre-cancer cells, then its definitely worth a few weeks of pain and discomfort! I just told my co-workers what I was doing so I didn't feel the need to "cover-up". Actually feels better not to have clothes rub on it. I take Advil for the pain. If only I could go back in time and tell myself to get out of the tanning beds, its not worth it!”

10 / 10
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Sdollar · Taken for 5 to 10 years December 11, 2018

Zyclara (imiquimod): “58 yo female, fair but I do tan. First basal cell at 27; MOHs surgery x2 . Also squamous cells and ##AKs & SKs frozen every 6 months. Aldara too intense. Been using Zyclara every winter for YEARS. Haven’t been brave enough to do my face but need to. Takes 5-7 days to start seeing effect; usually stop around day 10. It’s like trying to stop a speeding train - continues to intensify for several days after stopping. Oozy, itchy just like everybody says but it works! Flu-like symptoms because Zyclara stimulates an immune response. NOT topical chemo. I do one area at a time and rotate - back or chest or arms or legs. Stimulated lymph nodes are a normal immune response. If I feel “flu” I hold off for 2 days. Believe me the train keeps running but the symptoms reside. Every other day from there then it’s time to stop. I love that it flares spots I can’t see and heals better than burn/scrape or freeze. It’s a drag but I’m glad to have the option.”

10 / 10
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Sunburn girl November 14, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I feel much better after reading the experiences of others, which are so like mine. I'm a 44 yr old Florida native who spent way too many hours in the sun. I had my first basal cell excised at age 26; several more removed through MOHs, and Actinic Keratosiss "frozen" off, since. I tried Carac on my chest last year with little response. Now on day 13 of using Zyclara on my chest and shoulders and -- wow. By day 2, I had spots appear & the number of red, swollen, itchy lesions has multiplied every day since. I do NOT think I would be brave enough to use Zyclara on my face, given my significant (and unsightly) response. It IS uncomfortable, but hopefully worth it. Fabric-covered cool packs, ibuprofen and Neutrogena Excema Essentials cream has helped.”

9 / 10
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greg123 May 27, 2011

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I am on the last three days of the 2nd two week application step. I'm using on my forehead and cheeks and what a mess. I'm covered in red itchy weeping spots and blotches. I have nausea but that's the price you pay for baking in the sun as a kid. I'm 62. This medicine seems to work and if you don't mind looking like your face caught fire for a few weeks to maybe save your life then go for it. ”

10 / 10
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1st Timer May 29, 2010

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I have used Zyclara for 10 days I have all of the side effects except for the lymphadenopathy. The side effects began on the 8th day of usage. I am taking myself off the drug for at least two days and will stay on the schedule of 2 weeks of medication, 2 weeks off, and 2 weeks back on. I was warned by my doctor that I might need a rest from the medication and I was thinking it was because of the sores it creates, but it is that and everything else. ”

5 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

DaveinTexas January 17, 2013

Aldara (imiquimod): “Was involved in a clinical trial for Aldara 3.75% three years ago. Documented 51 Actinic Keratosis lesions on face and forehead. Two treatments, six weeks in between. Severe reaction occurred on first round, including flu-like symptoms. Also had less reaction on second treatment. Follow-up exam found NO Actinic Keratosis sites. One year follow up documented NO recurrence! I'm a fan! This is a miracle cure!”

10 / 10
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ecsecs1949 June 24, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I am 64 and have a lot of what my Dr. describes as pre-cancerous areas. I have just completed my 2nd two regime, the first having been done a couple of years earlier. I did my head and the left side of my face about half way down my cheek-only wanted to look half horrible. I took more than two weeks between the 1st and 2nd cycle both times to give the areas more time to heal. Don't know the significance of this delay. I got the eruptions to the point that I called my Dr who said there was no problem and showed photos I took during the treatment when I next visited my Dr.- all normal. I did feel fluey, sore all over, and verging on sick to my stomach, a 200 mg IBU solved the problem-its a real miracle for me.”

8 / 10
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Anonymous November 23, 2015

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I am a female in my late 60s, and on day 13 of the 1st round of 14. After tomorrow, I will be off 2 weeks, and back on for 2 weeks. I am using it on my temples and forehead. Luckily, I have a lot of hair to cover the red spots that have surfaced on my temples. However, I have had NO flu like symptoms, NO fatigue, NO stomach problems. Nothing.....just a bunch of ugly red spots”

8 / 10
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Anonymous January 19, 2012

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I took Zyclara for the first time a year ago at the age of 34 after my doctor froze off 3 actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis on my nose is back, also I still have red spots where lesions were during the initial treatment. Doctor says I need another round to finish off the damage and as a last best hope to avoid having to surgically remove the spot on my nose. I have fair skin and tons of sun damage (including 2nd degree burns over 20% of my body). My doctor initially recommended that I take 2 months off for the treatment, this time I will take her advice! I found the treatment too intense to work through due to pain and fatigue. Moisturizing the area with petroleum jelly and a topical anesthetic and antimicrobial (neosporin or polysporin) helped a lot!”

8 / 10
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Carol Ann 2 August 9, 2011

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I will give this medicine a higher rating perhaps when I finish the treatment. At this point (day 5 in the first round), I have muscle pain, lethargy and a dull headache. I feel like I have a mild virus. I have eruptions - red, itchy bumps - but that doesn't bother me as it means the medicines is working and that's exactly what I want. It will be worth it to be rid of precancerous cells on my forehead and hands. But there are some side effects and they seem to vary person to person. For me they are manageable.”

8 / 10
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nongkhai · Taken for 6 months to 1 year January 9, 2016

Aldara (imiquimod): “Actinic keratosis lesions on forearms only ... but a nasty case at any rate. Dermatologist put me on a regimen of Aldara cream and Salicylic Acid. The experience during the 4 months of Aldara treatment was not particularly pleasant: worst of all being that it made the Keratosis lesions much worse in terms of acute redness and inflamation and quite distressing vanity-wise. There was some headaches, some fatigue, but that only lasted 2 weeks or so. After that, no side affects worth bothering about. But I must admit I almost stopped using it during the period of unsightliness. But I didn't. And I am very glad I didn't! The Dermatologist took me off the Aldara regimen after 4 months and told me to just keep on using the salicylic acid. Now, after 5 months the Keratosis lesions are completely gone, leaving quite smooth new skin. The area is still a little pinkish compared to normal sin colour, but Doctor said that that will disappear once the healing time has done it's work. Over all success I would say. For myself Aldara was a godsend.”

10 / 10
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Justin · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 24, 2019

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I have had a recurring actinic keratosis on my temple( beside my eye) on and off for several years, plus several eczema-like lesions on my cheeks, neck and behind my ears. I have gone through the recommended 6-week Zyclara treatment and my skin is much better, almost completely clear, with just a few little areas remaining for which my dermatologist has recommended a further 'cycle' of 6 weeks. which will start in the next few days. I had the usual unsightly red scabs on one side and then the other. They were rather sore and itchy, but not unbearably so. Many friends have commented on how much better my skin looks, which is encouraging! I also have a compromised immune system, due to a chronic leukaemia, but no obvious side effects. I live in Spain, so have had to be careful about further sun exposure.”

8 / 10
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Esteban Yan February 13, 2016

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I am on day 11 of a 14 day cycle and the first week I experienced flu like symptoms i.e., achy muscles, fatigue & head aches. My only side effect now is a slight headache. I am using Zyclara on my face (temples, forehead and cheek) and my face is looking pretty ugly right now. It looks like an awful outbreak of acne and is very raw. I have more than a few scabs and a lot of redness where I have been applying the cream. It is very itchy and tender and to be honest, while I am still in the middle of all of this, I have questioned whether I would do it again. I guess it would be better to answer that in a couple of weeks. I have wanted to stop using it but it is like swimming half way across a lake. I think I will be happy in a couple of weeks”

7 / 10
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Facetime April 20, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I just finished the second phase of two weeks on Zyclara. It is doing its job for sure. Alot of open sores at the surface. Doctor put me on antibiotics as I have some infection going on. Also, using a antibiotic topical cream to help. It is painful but worth the time going through this as I have heard good results. I have had the Mohls surgery and also Efudex. Hope this clears it up for good.”

9 / 10
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Browniebaker · Taken for less than 1 month September 21, 2016

Zyclara (imiquimod): “Had been on the Zyclara, putting it on my chest only, for 10 days when I experienced high fever, chills, shortness of breath, nausea, sore throat, aching joints, headache, numbness in my fingers, metallic taste in my mouth, dry mouth and extremely tired. Dr. told me to stop. Symptoms still continue after 5 days off. He refuses to say it's from the cream, but I am never sick and only became sick after being on the cream. Hopefully, the cream will have done it's job and after the redness and spots disappear, I will have a clear chest again. It is a chemotherapy cream, so no wonder there will be side effects. Stupid doctor for not taking responsibility for this!!!!”

8 / 10
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Ren1313 · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 5, 2015

Zyclara (imiquimod): “I noticed a bothersome "pimple" that never healed on my back a few yrs ago. After biopsy the dermatologist diagnosed it as basal cell. She lasered it twice for removal. I noticed another spot on my left shoulder, and 3 more spots on my chest 6 mos ago. I have no insurance so Dr suggested Zyclara cream. My first session was 1 week on, 1 week off, then another on and another off. It brought out more spots (which shocked me) in my cleavage and upper chest area. She put me on a second session of 2 weeks on, 1 week off, 2 weeks on. I just finished that session, and other than the new lesions that appeared from the cream, the original spots are almost gone. I have had no apparent negative side effects while using this cream.”

7 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months December 9, 2012

Zyclara (imiquimod): “After I viewed some web face pics of others, I felt better about my treatment because this medicine will tear your face up. It was a lot of trouble explaining to most I came in contact with the treatment plan, and the looks on their faces were priceless. But, after a couple of months I know of 3 more people who also chose the treatment after seeing the results. One of them is a doctor and this is his statement to me, "you didn't tell me about the horrible flu symptoms, " for which I replied, "you didn't ask."”

8 / 10
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KC · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 6, 2018

Zyclara (imiquimod): “My dr prescribed Zyclara for use on some areas on my face she was concerned about. Zyclara gets rids if the cancerous cells. After the first few days it started working, oh boy! To be honest I looked like a drug addict, my face was red with blisters, open sores and itchy. The only side effect I experienced was a mild/moderate headache so the process was very tolerable for me. Second round and very little disruption of the skin. Before you start the treatment you may want to check your calendar for any upcoming events such as weddings, reunions, parties and such because your skin will look terrible during treatment. The initial treatment was awful but the end result and the way my skin looks is well worth the discomfort. Some insurance plans do not cover the cost of Zyclara because it’s extremely expensive. Ask your Dr for coupons or look online as most insurance companies won’t cover it.”

10 / 10
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Zyclara user · Taken for less than 1 month May 8, 2014

Zyclara (imiquimod): “Just to let people know there are some side effects. I got fatigue, swollen and sore lymph nodes, constant thirst, and I don't ever have anything like that happen usually I am a very healthy person so it surprised me. I used Carac about ten yrs ago and didn't have any side effects.”

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dbhbunny · Taken for less than 1 month October 26, 2016

Zyclara (imiquimod): “First let me start by saying that I have RA, and I used this cream for 11 days. Went through the whole red, blistering, scab and now smoother skin however, I did experience all the flu like symptoms and continue to feel horrible after almost 3 weeks off of this cream. My RA has flared, which has been controlled by medicine for 8 years, and I'm wondering if it is from the Zyclara. I really wish that I had not used this cream and I would warn anybody with RA to stay away from it.”

7 / 10
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Tapper2 December 2, 2016

Aldara (imiquimod): “Have used this product several times over recent years used for facial and scalp keratosis. It definitely works well although skin conditions seem to return after a year or two. Treatment involves application of ointment on week days (i.e. five days, with weekends off) for four weeks. The major side effect I have noticed is flu-like symptoms (coldness and body aches) and tiredness. The several times this has happened I have taken a day's break from treatment before resuming.”

7 / 10
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SusanJD · Taken for less than 1 month March 12, 2014

Zyclara (imiquimod): “26 spots came out the first week. A few were very big (larger than a pencil eraser) and they oozed like a greenish pus. but....only a tiny bit of itching during the healing weeks. Seemed to work great!”

10 / 10
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AblesChapin · Taken for less than 1 month January 20, 2013

Zyclara (imiquimod): “Have used this for one week but began to have serious side-effects including hives all over my back, severe diarrhea, terrible cold/flu, headache, joint soreness. I do have an autoimmune disorder (endometriosis and Raynaund's) and the medication has warnings for people with autoimmune disorders so that may be why I am having such an adverse reaction. Will see doctor tomorrow to learn if I should switch to Efudex maybe but will probably look into the genetic testing for DPD before I start that one.”

7 / 10
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This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare professionals.