Recent evidence suggests 5% imiquimod may be more effective than other non-surgical treatment options for superficial basal cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis. Imiquimod cream can improve many skin problems and, in some cases, cure the condition, but it does not work for everybody, and the effects may not be permanent. If imiquimod works for your condition, your skin usually gets red, ulcerated and sore then settles down as your body heals after destroying the cancer cells. The redness and soreness should settle about 2 weeks after stopping the treatment. If used for sun-damage, the skin will eventually appear much smoother. If you have more severe sun-damage, you may require repeated treatment courses in the future to maintain the improvement.