Treating genital warts — what you need to know
Aldara (imiquimod) 5% cream is an effective topical treatment for external genital and perianal warts. Aldara is available to buy from the Online Doctor following a short, easy health questionnaire, as currently the treatment is available on a prescription-only basis in the UK.
When it comes to treating genital warts, The Independent Pharmacy offers patients complete confidentiality, fast & discreet delivery, and expert advice as well as the best prices on prescription treatments — both branded and generic.
Worried you might have warts? You may have noticed small growths and fleshy bumps around your penis, vagina, or anus that weren’t there before. Don’t worry — they are a common and largely harmless STD/viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Treat your genital warts today with confidence with help from The Independent Pharmacy — to find out more about genital warts and see all the available treatments, see our Genital Warts page.
Internal warts are not to be treated by Aldara, and neither are warts in the mouth caused by HPV.
Male and female genital wart cream available in the UK
Aldara is licensed explicitly for both genital and external anal warts in and around the anus. It is suitable for any number of intimate warts — including those that are hard to touch, or those that are soft and fleshy. Each box of 12 sachets provides 28 days (four weeks) treatment. You only need to apply the cream a few (three) times a week, and the active ingredients are generally well-tolerated — even suitable for sensitive skin, unlike other abrasive wart removal methods. (If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, it may mean that Aldara is not suitable for you).
You should wash the cream off with water and mild soap after about 8 hours, and it’s a good idea to apply the cream to clean skin before getting into bed at night. Keep your hands clean and avoid getting Aldara on your skin.
Aldara cream helps genital wart outbreaks disappear, usually within 4 months of starting the treatment. Half the women who clear will do so in 8 weeks, half the men who clear will do so in 12 weeks; but with some patients warts may clear as early as 4 weeks.
The cream also helps treat any associated pain or discomfort. Once genital warts have been treated using Aldara cream, they are less likely to reappear than without treatment.
Aldara cream contains the active ingredient Imiquimod in a 5% formulation. Imiquimod is primarily used to treat the viral infection (HPV) that causes genital warts, and can also be found in a wart cream called Zyclara.
Aldara cream is manufactured by Meda Pharmaceuticals and is classified as a prescription only medicine. It was discovered by 3M back in 1997. The cream comes packaged as individual sachets, each containing 250 mg of Aldara cream. One pack contains twelve sachets of cream. This product is for cutaneous use only.
Warts that occur on your hands and feet look and feel different to genital warts. Don’t use any over-the-counter wart creams to treat your genital warts, as you may end up damaging your skin.
How does Aldara work to treat HPV?
Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Imiquimod cream works to eradicate this virus by helping the body stimulate its own defence mechanisms, acting as an immune response modifier (IRM). Essentially, it helps the body attack the virus itself by stimulating the production of cytokines that stop the virus from multiplying in cells. They also reduce cell abnormalities.
With the help of imiquimod, the immune system releases chemicals to attack and kill viruses. It stops the HPV in its tracks by preventing it from multiplying inside cells. When the HPV type 6 & 11 is killed, your genital warts should clear. Warts treated with Aldara are less likely to recur, and you may never have them again.
Getting rid of genital warts
Genital warts cannot be 100% cured — only treated. When your immune system is under stress, warts may reappear; even after a successful course of treatment.
The only non-medicinal treatments for Aldara Cream is to have the warts physically removed. This is often only used in more severe cases when all medicinal treatments have been exhausted. You will have to speak to your GP for further information.