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How long does it take Aldara burns/scabs to heal?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Oct 1, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Aldara (imiquimod) burns and scabs can take up to 4 weeks to heal once treatment has been stopped.

Skin at the site of application may begin scabbing and flaking and become red, swollen and sore within the first 5 days of treatment. Common experiences after applying Aldara include stinging, burning, tenderness and itching of the skin.

While uncomfortable, these reactions indicate that the medication is working by stimulating the immune system to destroy the targeted cells. Aldara is a topical cream prescribed to treat conditions such as basal cell carcinoma, genital warts and actinic keratosis.

The length of time of application and treatment varies depending on the condition being treated:

  • For basal cell carcinoma, Aldara is applied 5 days a week at night. Aldara is left on the skin for 8 hours, and treatment lasts for 6 continuous weeks.
  • When treating genital warts, Aldara is applied 3 days a week at night. Treatment is left on the affected areas for 6 to 10 hours each application, with treatment continuing up to a maximum of 16 weeks.
  • Actinic keratosis treatment is applied 2 times per week at night and left on the affected areas for 8 hours. Total treatment is 16 weeks.

Treatment must be applied and washed off as directed to be effective. Side effects such as lesions that are oozing and weeping, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, and intense burning and itching may be indications of an adverse reaction. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your dermatologist.

References
  1. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Aldara Information for Patients. February 2017. Available at: https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/14441Paldara.pdf. [Accessed September 21, 2021].
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). Imiquimod: A treatment for some skin cancers, genital warts. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/imiquimod-skin-cancer-treatment. [Accessed September 21, 2021].
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). Imiquimod: Skin Cancer Treatment FAQs. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/imiquimod-skin-cancer-treatment-faqs. [Accessed September 21, 2021].

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