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Molluscum Treatment

Molluscum treatment can be thought of in three main approaches/categories:

  1. Observation
  2. Topical/immunomodulatroy therapy
  3. Destructive therapy

Observation is a perfectly acceptible option and this is something that many pediatricians recommend for their patients.  Due to the viral nature of molluscum, the body will most likely come to recognize the virus and develop an immune response, eventually clearing the virus and allowing for resolution of the skin findings.  It is important to know however, that there are many straight forward treatment approaches that can speed this process along.  In addition, while waiting for the body to cure molluscum on its own, the contagious nature of this virus can result in spread and the formation of additional skin lesions, making other forms of treatment then more extensive.

Topical or immunomodulatory therapy is a means of applying either creams or solutions directly on the skin bumps themselves and eliciting an immune response.  Some topical therapies are actually destructive in nature by causing blisters, or causing direct toxicity to the virus itself.  Others however help the body's immune system to "find" the mollsucum and develop a response similar to what would occur with observation (just much faster).  Typically, topical treatments for molluscum do not result in any pain and are usually the preferred method for treating molluscum contagiosum in children.

Destructive therapy is just as it sounds, destroying the actual viral bumps.  This is performed in a doctor's office and is usually used when small numbers of molluscum are present or when other treatment modalities have been unsuccessful.  It may also be used for larger "giant" molluscum, where topical therapies tend to be less effective.  Destructive therapies are often painful (though the duration of pain associated with the procedure is usually very short) but they have the advantage of knowing that the molluscum are completely treated.  They results are immediate, there is no waiting for an additional response as is often the case with topical and immunomodulatory therapies.

To learn more about the many various molluscum contagiosum treatment options, please follow the links below: