Treatment Of Molluscum Conagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a highly contagious virus affecting the skin of both adults and children. Molluscum papules look like small, indented warts. While they’re not a serious health issue, they can spread quickly and pose a cosmetic concern for patients. There is no cure for the molluscum virus, but there are several alternative and traditional treatments that may improve symptoms and reduce virus spread. Unfortunately, however, the molluscum contagiosum infection can last from several weeks to five years, depending on the patient.

Symptoms

A dermatologist can easily diagnose your molluscum contagiosum after a brief visual exam. The virus presents itself as small, red or flesh-colored bumps (1/8 inch to 1/4 inch wide) with white, waxy cores. A lesion’s core contains the most contagious part of the virus, and it may be expelled when the lesion is squeezed or scraped. Molluscum bumps can develop in clusters or individually, and are usually found on the trunk, arms and face. Lesions spread through skin-to-skin contact, however, so they may also be found on the genitals after intercourse or intimate contact.

Curettage

While it is not medically necessary to treat the molluscum virus, your dermatologist may recommend curettage for particularly severe cases. Curettage is a scraping process designed to remove the core of the molluscum papules. This process helps to prevent further spread of the virus and encourage healing of the current lesions.

Freezing and Burning

The second treatment option your dermatologist may recommend is cryotherapy or cantharidin acid application. During these procedures, the doctor applies liquid nitrogen or cantharidin (“beetle juice”) to the papules. The solutions both cause blistering and eventual healing of the lesions, but the treatment and healing process can be uncomfortable.

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Homeopathic Treatment

Not all patients wish to undergo traditional treatment. For those interested in a homeopathic approach, there are several safe options available. The most common alternatives include the application of tea tree essential oil, thuja essential oil, wheatgrass solutions, colloidal silver or organically bound iodine. These homeopathic tinctures can cause mild skin irritation in some patients, but many people find that they reduce lesion spread and encourage healing of current papules.

Precautions

The molluscum virus is not a serious health concern, but the sores may become infected or irritated when scratched or picked. If your molluscum contagiosum lesions look especially irritated or become warm, hard and full of pus, you may have an infection. Call your health practitioner to find out if you need a topical or oral antibiotic for symptom treatment and infection intervention.