Imiquimod is a topical treatment (cream) used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma or solar keratoses.
Route of administration:
Wash the treatment area with mild soap and water and allow the area to dry thoroughly. Apply the cream to the affected area before going to bed and leave it on the skin for approximately 8 hours. The cream should be rubbed in until it is no longer visible. Following this period, the cream should be removed by washing the treated area with mild soap and water. During the 8 hours treatment period showering or bathing should be avoided. Hand washing before and after cream application is recommended. When treating superficial basal cell carcinoma, apply imiquimod once daily, five days per week (e.g. Monday to Friday), for a total of 6 weeks. When treating solar keratoses, apply imiquimod three times per week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for a total of 4 weeks.
Due to its ability to stimulate the immune system, imiquimod should be used with caution in people taking immunosupressant medication.
Some early skin cancers affect only the top layers of the skin. Although they can be removed surgically, there are other methods of treatment which may offer advantages such as less scarring or expense.