TREATMENT OF MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM

This condition will often take months to up to a year to resolve, and sometimes the lesions will spread to a disconcerting degree

Pediatricians and general doctors often tell patients not to worry about molluscum contagiosum, because it will resolve on its own. While this is most certainly true, it will often take months to up to a year to resolve, and sometimes the lesions will spread to a disconcerting degree. There is certainly no health concern in leaving these untreated, but oftentimes patients or their parents become frustrated and want treatment.


The skin lesions of molluscum can be treated in several ways:

  • Freezing: This is also known as cryotherapy, and it is done with liquid nitrogen, a very cold spray that is used in the office. The liquid nitrogen causes the skin to turn red and form a small blister than then lifts the molluscum lesions away.
  • Beetle juice: Cantharidin is a medication that is extracted from the juice of a blister beetle. The medicine is applied to the molluscum lesions in the office and washed off at home. Small blisters form, and when the blisters resolve, the molluscum lesion is destroyed with it.
  • Curettage: The molluscum lesions can be scraped off in the office using a small melon-scoop type instrument. 
  • Medications: Occasionally, topical medications may be prescribed to help treat the lesions.


Side effects of treatment can include discomfort, redness, skin irritation, and scarring, though most often, the lesions heal quite well. 

Learn more about molluscum: