More About Imiquimod
Imiquimod is a topical cream that appears to stimulate a natural immune response. In 1997, the FDA approved it’s use in the treatment of genital warts, while treatment of non-genital warts has not been formally assessed.
How does this treatment work?
While unproven, the theory is that the 5% Imiquimod cream may stimulate cytokines, which support immune function. This elevated immunity supports the body in fighting the HPV virus, eventually eliminating the virus and the warts.
How effective is this treatment?
Despite not being formally assessed for non-genital application, open label, uncontrolled study showed total clearance in 30% of all warts, which is comparable to the efficacy range of salicylic acid and cryotherapy.
What can patients expect when receiving this treatment?
Typical Treatment Protocol:
- Cream is applied directly to the wart and left on for the day
- Cream is washed off in the morning with soap and water
- Treatment is repeated daily for 5-16+ weeks or until clearance is achieved
- Limited during application
- Limited post procedurally
- As the affected area starts to heal, you may see scabs and flaking (good signs).
- When a patient does not have a reaction, imiquimod tends to be ineffective.
- Daily application is often required
- Adverse local inflammatory response is common
- Itchy Skin
- Bacterial Infection
You should avoid sexual contact while the cream is on your skin. It may weaken condoms and diaphragms and may irritate your partner’s skin.
Where can I receive this treatment?
Imiquimod is not commonly used in the United States and most clinics will not have access. If you would like to be treated with Imiquimod, you should call ahead to assess availability, however consultation is recommended prior to confirming an appropriate treatment.