Aldara is the brand name of 5% imiquimod cream. This prescription cream is mainly used to treat genital warts, basal cell skin cancers and other skin conditions. It has also shown to improve the quality of new hypertrophic scars after surgery in one preliminary clinical trial. Knowledge about this treatment is limited. Some side effects have been reported but you could always ask your doctor or surgeon for more information when undergoing surgery.
Aldara cream seems to work by stimulating the body’s natural immune system to oppose scar tissue formation.
I think this can be an option in case nothing else works. The following post on the breasthealthonline.org shows it did improve a very problematic scar:
“I had a horrible keloid scar and the doctor cut it out and then I began treatment with A ldara. The scar did NOT keloid up again. The only thing is that your scar will look a LOT worse before it looks better. The Aldara causes the area to scab up and look really bad, (but that is indication that it is working)”
There are a few clinical trials showing evidence for the efficacy of this prescription cream.
“In one study, 15 patients with 2 months old hypertrophic breast surgery scars were treated with either petrolatum (e.g. Vaseline) or imiquimod 5% cream. After 24 weeks when the scars were evaluated (by assessment with standardized scales) almost all the scars treated with imiquimod cream scored better . Conclusion of this study was that imiquimod cream improved scar appearance after surgery.” (Topical Treatments for Hypertrophic Scars. Zurada, Kriegel, and Davis)
Other studies have shown imiquimod cream to be effective when applied after a keloid scar had been excised. More than one studies showed that none of the keloids reoccurred after the treatment. Minor side effects reported were a mild irritation during and right after the application of the cream. (some patients a had to temporarily stop using the cream). Also scar redness (hyperpigmentation) occurred on more than half of the patients in this study.