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Skin Care and Diseases

Mollescum Contagiosum

05/31/2006

Question:

My nephew and niece battled mollescums this last year and now both my 10 year old and 14 year old have these pesky little mollesums. They are mostly on the legs and inner thighs, behind the knees, and a few under the arms. Is there anything other than TIME that will make them go away? The first mollescums appeared this summmer and the original mollescums have not gone away and more keep appearing. We tried various suggestions such as dabbing the middle of each mollesum with a wart remover like Compound W. This seems to irritate the mollescums and several of them got infected and were very painful for my son. My niece`s pediatrician suggested bleach baths ( a few TBS of bleach per gallon of bath water) when the mollescums become infected and that seemed to help stop the infection. My son is concerened that the virus will go to his face and then he "will just die" with embarassment. What is the average span of the virus and when can we expect to see improvement and the end? We are trying to be patient.

Answer:

I realize how frustrating this condition can be. The lesions can be found on any skin surface, so it is possible that they will go to his face. However, Molluscum Contagiosum is a self-limited disease, which, left untreated, will eventually resolve in children who have intact immune systems. Being patient is your best option at this point. Many options exist for treatment, and your dermatologist can discuss these with you at your visit.

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Response by:

Janine D Miller, MD Janine D Miller, MD
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University