How to Treat Keloids With Aldara Cream

by Kimberly Rienecke

Aldara may be beneficial for the prevention of keloid scars after surgical excision.

Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

Keloids are an abnormal proliferation of scar tissue. There are a variety of therapies available to both treat and prevent keloids. Unfortunately, keloids are often difficult to treat and frequently recur. One drug therapy of interest called Aldara is a prescription topical cream that has been shown to decrease the reappearance of surgically excised keloids. Aldara, also known by its generic name imiquimod, is an immunomodulatory drug that stimulates your immune system. This promotes the activation of immune cells that in turn encourage healing of the scar.

Preparation and Application

Wash your wound with a gentle soap and water.

Pat the area gently with a towel.

Allow the entire area to dry thoroughly for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Wash your hands with soap and water before you apply the medication.

Cut a packet of Aldara and squeeze a small amount of cream onto your fingertip or a cotton tip applicator. Apply a thin layer to your wound and rub it in until the cream has been absorbed by the skin. This should be done every other night before you go to bed.

Wash your hands again to remove any excess cream.

Allow the cream to remain on your skin overnight for about eight hours. Keep the area dry and avoid swimming or bathing after you have applied the cream.

Remove the medication in the morning by washing the affected area again with a gentle soap and water.


  • Aldara should not be applied to your eyes, nostrils or lips, as this may cause irritation. Aldara may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is recommended to wear sunscreen if you go outside and to avoid tanning. You should begin your treatment one week after your sutures are removed, or as directed by your doctor. The length of treatment may vary, but one study published in 2007 in the “Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand” found a positive benefit after eight weeks of application every other night. Researchers discovered that 28.6 percent of patients had a recurrence of keloids after surgical excision was followed by the application of five percent imiquimod for eight weeks.

Photo Credits

  • Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Kimberly Rienecke started her career as a health and fitness writer by working for various websites. She is a certified orthopedic physician assistant and an ACE-certified personal trainer. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Towson University.