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How Do You Treat Molluscum Contagiosum?

Treatment for molluscum contagiosum isn’t necessary if your immune system is healthy, as the bumps will eventually fade away and the virus will leave the body. There are some situations in which treatment may be recommended, however. You would be a good candidate for medical intervention if:

  • You have large lesions that are prominent on your face or neck
  • You have a previously existing skin condition such as atopic dermatitis
  • You have a great concern about spreading the virus
  • You have a weakened immune system

Treatment Options

The most effective treatments for molluscum contagiosum include procedures that can be done in the office of a healthcare professional. Therapies include:

  • Cryotherapy in which your bumps will be frozen with liquid nitrogen
  • A procedure called curettage, in which the bumps will be scraped off of the skin with a special tool
  • Laser therapy in which a laser is used to remove the bumps
  • Topical therapy in which creams and chemicals using acid will cause the top layer of skin to peel away, removing the bumps

Some of these treatments will require the use of anesthetic, and though scarring is possible, it is not likely in most cases. Large bumps, or multiple bumps, may require additional treatment sessions.

Medication Treatments

In some situations, your healthcare provider may choose to prescribe medications for treatment. Some of the most common types of medications prescribed include:

  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Imiquimod
  • Cantharidin
  • Topical podophyllotoxin cream

Most cases of molluscum contagiosum will improve with treatment in up to six or twelve months, though bumps can continue to develop for up to five years. You should discuss with your healthcare provider if treatment is necessary and which options will work best for you.

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