What is the role of imiquimod in the postexcision care of keloids and hypertrophic scars?

Updated: May 29, 2020
  • Author: Brian Berman, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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The authors have studied the effects of topically applied imiquimod 5% cream (Aldara) on the postexcision recurrence rates of 13 keloids excised surgically from 12 patients. [47, 90] Starting the night of surgery, imiquimod 5% cream was applied for 8 weeks. Patients were examined at weeks 4, 8, 16, and 24 for local erythema, edema, erosions, pigment alteration, and/or recurrence of the keloid. Of the 11 keloids evaluated at 24 weeks, none (0%) recurred. The rate of hyperpigmentation was 63.6%. Two cases of mild irritation and superficial erosion cleared with temporary discontinuation of imiquimod. Both patients completed the 8 weeks of topical therapy and the final 24-week assessment. At 24 weeks, the recurrence rate of excised keloids treated with postoperative imiquimod 5% cream was lower than recurrence rates previously reported in the literature.

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