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Tretinoin Molluscum Treatment

tretinoin molluscumTretinoin is a member of the topical retinoid family.  This family of medications which includes Retin-a, Avita, Atralin, Differin (adapalene) and Tazorac (tazarotene) is more commonly used in the treatment of acne.

The retinoids work in many ways, but one of which is by improving keratinization, or the process by which the skin turns over.  It helps to make the skin less "sticky" allowing the dead skin to desquamate or come off.  In doing so, tretinoin and the other retinoids may cause some mild irritation.

The therapeutic effect of tretinoin molluscum treatment is that through this mild irritant mechanism of action, it may help remove the molluscum as these viral bumps sit very high up in the upper layers of the skin.

Treatment with tretinoin and other retinoids often can take longer periods of time.  There are not many studies that support the efficacy of this treatment but there are case reports of successes1.

The nice part about this treatment is that it is typically painless with only a small potential for mild irritation at the application site of the topical medications.

1Dermatol Online J. 2007 Jul 13;13(3):15.

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