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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:20 pm 

Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 5:11 pm
Posts: 3
Location: NY

I posted here a couple weeks ago about my reaction to Aldara, and I have a couple more questions.

I started treating three small warts around my vaginal opening with Aldara at the beginning of May. Getting a little paranoid about potential warts, I also applied some in areas that hadn't been diagnosed, which was a very bad idea. I got some severe reactions - in one area, an open sore, in another, very tender, red skin. It was painful. I know this can come from the Aldara, but it also made me worry that it was Herpes. My blood test for hsv came back negative, but my doctor isn't sure that it isn't Herpes (it could have been too early for the antibodies to show - blood test was at 2 months and it isn't 100% sure until 4 months). A viral culture also came back negative, but those have a high false negative rate.

I'm mostly worried because the reactions lasted so long after I stopped applying the cream on those spots. The open sore is just healing now, and it's already been 4 weeks since it developed. The other tender areas took about 3 weeks to heal. I was still applying the Aldara to the warts (conservatively) until last week. A few days after I stopped applying any Aldara at all, the red tender areas went away - but I had not put any Aldara directly on those areas for 2-3 weeks. Does this make sense?

My questions for people who've had bad reactions to Aldara are - how long has it taken for those reactions to go away? Can Aldara continue to irritate skin around the skin that's being treated with it, even if that skin has no direct contact?

I'm going to continue to go back for more blood tests, but if anyone has any experience with this, it would definitely put my mind at ease.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:22 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi ariel,

Aldara can cause severe skin reactions, especially if too much is used or if the product is used in a manner other than how your health care provider directs. It's not uncommon for such irritation or inflammation of the skin to extend beyond the direct area where it was applied.

Symptoms can be a tricky way to nail down a herpes diagnosis, as they most often come and go fairly quickly (even relatively severe outbreaks tend to clear in a few weeks) and you're right in that the value of culture diminishes if the lesions are healing. Correct also in that sometimes it can take 12-16 weeks for detectable antibody levels to show up on blood tests, although many people test accurately much more quickly.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you're doing.


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