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Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Treatment for molluscum contagiosum is not always necessary, as the lesions typically disappear and heal without scarring in healthy individuals. Especially in young children, the decision to treat a minor self-limiting condition must be weighed against the potential physical pain and psychological hardship associated with some treatment procedures. However, in certain clinical situations, treatment for molluscum contagiosum may be considered and undertaken. The different treatment options, as well as the associated risks and benefits, should be discussed with your health care professional. She will recommend the most effective treatment approach based on your age, the location and number of lesions, and the presence of any underlying medical problems. In general, treatment is aimed at preventing transmission and autoinoculation, and some individuals also elect to undergo treatment because of cosmetic concerns or for persistent lesions. Those individuals with a weakened immune system often do not have an extremely effective response to therapy, and a long-term response is often difficult to achieve.

There are several different treatment options available for molluscum contagiosum. Some procedures may require multiple treatments and multiple office visits, and the potential side effects will vary with the procedure, but may include pain, skin irritation, blistering, skin pigmentation changes, and scarring. The following procedures can be performed in the office by your health-care professional:

  • Curettage: the use of a small instrument to scrape and remove the lesions from the skin
  • Cryotherapy: the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and eliminate the lesions
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/3/2015

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Descriptions of molluscum contagiosum have been in the medical literature since 1817.

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