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Treatment Options for Molluscum Contagiosum

Treatment Options for Molluscum Contagiosum
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What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum Contagiosum (MC) is a viral skin infection that manifests itself through small pearly or flesh-colored bumps, which may be clear but with an indented center. The virus that causes this condition is highly contagious but is not harmful.

Generally, most cases of MC will clear up on their own between 6-18 months without treatment. Moreover, when the bumps clear up without being interfered with, no other symptoms or scarring will be experienced. Only spots will be left.

Severe cases of MC that call for treatment are mainly seen with people who have compromised immune system, maybe as a result of other disease conditions. In such cases, treatment is only recommended for adults with unsightly spots that affect their self-esteem. Young children are prohibited from treatment since it may be extremely painful and upsetting. Treatment may sometimes cause permanent scarring.

Treatment Options for MC

Treatment options for MC include over-the-counter medications, mostly in form of lotions, creams and ointments and also hospital procedures. This article will focus on over-the-counter treatment options. You can also find help at Molluscum Solutions.

Benzoyl Peroxide

This is usually available in the form of gel or cream. Too much of it on the skin is harmful. Therefore, you are advised to use it sparingly. Application should be done on clean dry skin once or twice a day.

This medication is capable of bleaching. Therefore, keep it from getting on your hair or clothes. You should also wash your hands thoroughly after application and avoid direct exposure to sunlight as it makes your skin extremely sensitive. Side effects when using these treatment are however mild and are expected to resolve with completion of treatment.

Common side effects with this benzoyl peroxide are:

  • Some skin peeling
  • A burning, stinging or itching sensation
  • Dry and red skin

Podophyllotoxin

This medication comes in liquid form. It’s mode of action is by poisoning the cells of the spots. The treatment is done in a cycle where you apply the medication for a few days then skip several days before applying again.

Podophyllotoxin comes with a special application stick that you use to draw the recommended liquid dosage and drip it into each spot. Side effects are rare except for a mild irritation.

Tretinoin

molluscum contagiosum treatmentThis medication is also in liquid form and should be applied once or twice a day to specific spots. Use of tretinoin during pregnancy is prohibited as it’s associated with birth defects. Women who are sexually active are also advised to use a reliable contraception method while on tretinoin treatment.

Trentinoin  can also make your skin extremely sensitive to sunlight and UV light. Therefore, avoid direct sunlight or use sun cream protection when on it. You symptoms may take several months to improve. Common side effects of tretinoin are mild irritation and stinging of the skin.

Potassium Hydroxide

This medication is available in liquid form. The medication works by breaking down virus-infected skin cells and then allowing the immune system to work on it.  This treatment is radical and should start showing results within 14 days. Application of the medication should be done twice a day. When the medication starts becoming effective, the spots become inflamed before healing and then disappear a few weeks after.

Imiquimod

This is a MC treatment cream that works for large clusters of spots or larger spots. The medication stimulates the immune system to attack the spots. When using the medication, it may therefore take several weeks for any noticeable side effects to be felt.

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