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What Are Over-the-Counter Treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum?

What Are Over-the-Counter Treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum? What Are Over-the-Counter Treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum, a self-limited viral disease, causes single or clusters of pearly skin bumps with a characteristic central dimple. Close contact, including sexual intercourse, transmits the disease. Swimming pools and shared towels containing the virus often aid in transmission. Children can develop the bumps on their faces, while adults more commonly develop bumps in the groin and genital areas. The disease resolves in three to four months in healthy individuals. Treatments for molluscum contagiosum include the topical irritants: trichloroacetic acid, 25 to 40 percent solution; cantharidin; tazarotene; Retin-A, or tretinoin; and Aldara, or imiquimod 5 percent cream. These drugs require a prescription; however, there are a number of over-the-counter formulations available.

Ten Percent Potassium Hydroxide

According to a study by Dr. A. Metkar and colleagues, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2008, a 10 percent potassium hydroxide solution has been prescribed for mollusca to be applied at home and has the added advantage of being relatively painless.

Ten Percent Iodine Solution

Another topical treatment involves placing a 10 percent iodine solution on the molluscum papules and, when dry, covering the site with 50 percent salicylic acid plaster and tape. Repeat the process daily. After three to seven days, apply only the iodine solution. Resolution occurs in a mean of 26 days.

Lemon Myrtle Oil

According to Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, as stated by Dr. Briant E. Burke, a study in 31 children with molluscum contagiosum compared once daily 10 percent solution of Australian lemon myrtle, Backhousia citriodora, to an olive oil vehicle. At the end of 21 days, 90 percent of lesions resolved in 9/16, or 56 percent of children treated with lemon myrtle oil, while 0/16 children improved in the vehicle group.

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