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Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

Molluscum Contagiosum Medications

There are a variety of topical agents that can be used to treat molluscum contagiosum. The particular agent chosen will depend on various factors. Your health-care professional may use any of the following topical agents, which are applied directly to the lesions:

  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Tretinoin cream
  • Cantharidin
  • Imiquimod cream

Cimetidine, the anti-ulcer and anti-heartburn oral medication, has been used in younger children for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum as an alternative to other more potentially painful therapies. Its overall effectiveness has been questioned.

As previously noted, patients with weakened immune systems can be difficult and challenging to treat, and complete resolution of the skin lesions is often not possible. In addition to some of the treatments outlined above, various antiviral agents, such a cidofovir, ritonavir, and zidovudine, have been used with some success to treat severe molluscum contagiosum in some immunocompromised patients. For patients with AIDS, the most effective results are often achieved after the initiation of medications that target the HIV virus and boost the body's immune system.

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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