Background: Local skin reactions are common during imiquimod treatment of actinic keratosis (AK). Cyclical application of imiquimod may improve tolerability while maintaining efficacy.
Objective: To assess the tolerability of imiquimod and clearance rate of AK lesions after imiquimod application.
Methods: Imiquimod 5% cream was administered three times per week for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of rest (cycle 1) to AK lesions on the head. If AK lesions remained visible at the end of cycle 1, a second treatment cycle was instituted.
Results: Fifty percent (30 of 60) of patients experienced complete clearance of AK lesions, and 75% (30 of 40) of patients experienced partial clearance of AK lesions after imiquimod treatment at the end of cycle 2. Moreover, 77% of patients who achieved complete clearance had no visible AK lesions 12 weeks post-treatment. Imiquimod was well tolerated.
Conclusion: Imiquimod cycle therapy may be a safe and effective treatment option for AK lesions.