A cream called imiquimod can be used to cure skin cancers without causing scarring.

Imiquimod is a cream that enhances your immunity and helps to kill the virus that causes warts. It can also cure basal cell skin cancers that are caused by excessive exposure to sunlight and leave pearly bumps or red scaly areas on sun-exposed skin.

Conventional surgery for skin cancers always causes scars to form, but imiquimod cures basal cell cancers, is painless and does not cause scars. Interferon injections are another treatment for basal cell skin cancers that does not cause scarring. However, your doctor may not offer you either of these treatments because he gets paid a lot more to do surgery. Ask whether imiquimod cream or interferon injections would be appropriate for you. Imiqimod is prescribed in a five percent cream, applied three times a week for six weeks or more. Also see report #8863.

Imiquimod 5% cream in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: Results of a multicenter 6-week dose-response trial. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2001, Vol 44, Iss 5, pp 807-813. R Marks, K Gebauer, S Shumack, M Amies, J Bryden, TL Fox, ML Owens: Address Marks R, St Vincents Hosp, Dept Dermatol, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Vic 3065, AUSTRALIA

Checked 8/9/07

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