Helpful advice for viral infections

For patients, a selection of MolluDab information leaflets are available to download:

MolluDab How to Use Leaflet
MolluDab Infographic
MolluDab As reviewed in the Daily Mail Oct 2014

Clinical Evidence

Potassium hydroxide efficacy in Molluscum contagiosum

  • A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of 20 children was conducted by Short et al. (2006)2. The patients were randomised to receive either 10% potassium hydroxide or placebo, twice daily until signs of inflammation appeared. In 70% of patients treated with potassium hydroxide (and examined on days 1, 15, 30 60 and 90) the lesions cleared, whereas only 20% of the placebo group showed clearance of lesions.
  • In a letter to the journal Pediatric Dermatology, Romiti et al. (2000)3 summarised their findings from a trial of 20 children whose Molluscum contagiosum all cleared within 6 weeks using a 5% solution of potassium hydroxide (i.e. MolluDab). This topical solution was as effective as the 10% potassium hydroxide the team had previously tested, but minimised skin irritation and stinging associated with the stronger concentration.
  • Jansen et al. (2007)4 also conducted a study of 21 children to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of 5% potassium hydroxide (i.e. MolluDab) applied twice daily on each lesion until a clinically visible inflammatory reaction was apparent. The authors confirmed the effectiveness and tolerability of potassium hydroxide with the added benefit of patient and parent compliance and simple application, making it suitable for home treatment.

Potassium hydroxide vs other treatments for Molluscum contagiosum

  • Tretinoin: Rajouria et al. (2011)5 undertook a study of 50 children comparing 5% potassium hydroxide (i.e. MolluDab) with tretinoin treatment, both showed a good response and were well tolerated by the children. However, 5% potassium hydroxide showed fast recovery and most lesions were resolved before the 4 week end-of-study period. With tretinoin treatment, the response was slightly more delayed and some lesions persisted after 4 weeks.
  • Imiquimod: Metkar et al. (2008)6 compared 5% imiquimod cream and 10% potassium hydroxide solution in a 40-patient open, randomised study. The results demonstrated that both treatments were equally effective in treating Molluscum contagiosum, although potassium hydroxide showed a faster onset of action. Sang-Hee et al. (2010)7 also investigated the safety and efficacy of 5% imiquimod cream versus 10% potassium hydroxide solution in treating Molluscum contagiosum. The authors concluded that both solutions were effective and safe treatments of Molluscum contagiosum and, considering the lower cost and faster clearance of lesions using potassium hydroxide, this could be a better option.


  1. Pannell RS, Fleming DM and Cross KW. The incidence of Molluscum contagiosum, scabies and lichen planus. Epidemiol. Infect. 2005, 133. 985-991
  2. Short KA, Fuller C, Higgins, EM. Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Use of Topical 10% Potassium Hydroxide Solution in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum. Pediatric Dermatology, 2006, Vol 23, No 3, 269-281
  3. Romiti R, Ribeiro AP, Romiti N. Evaluation of the effectiveness of 5% potassium hydroxide for the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum. Pediatr Dermatol. 2000 Nov-Dec; 17(6):493.
  4. Jansen T, Romiti R, Dissemond J and Grabbe S. Evaluation of the Efficacy and Tolerability of 5% Potassium Hydroxide in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum in Childhood. Akt Dermatol. (German, abstract in English translated article available on request -see contact form) 2007; 33: 210-215
  5. Rajouria EA, Amatya A and Karn D. Comparative Study of 5% Potassium Hydroxide Solution Versus 0.05% Tretinoin Cream for Molluscum Contagiosum in Children. Kathmandu Univ Med J. 2011:3(64):291-4
  6. Metkar A, Pande S, Khopkar U. An open, non-randomized, comparative study of imiquimod 5% cream versus 10% potassium hydroxide treatment of Molluscum contagiosum. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2008;74:614-8
  7. Sang-Hee S, Hyun-Woo C, Dong-Wok J and Hyun-Woo S. An Open, Randomized, Comparative Clinical and Histological Study of Imiquimod 5% Cream Versus 10% Potassium Hydroxide Solution in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum Ann Dermatol. 2010, Vol 22, No 2, 21

MolluDab Q&A

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person by touching the affected skin or a surface with the virus on it e.g. bed linen or towels.

Usually, the only symptom of Molluscum Contagiosum is several small, raised, firm bumps (papules) on the skin. These are not painful but can be itchy, red, swollen or slightly sore. There are typically less than 20 papules on the body - however in rare instances, people have reported over 100.

How long do these bumps last?

Spots appear mostly on the body & in arm/leg creases and can be itchy or unsightly which can lead to feeling embarrassed & self-conscious about the condition. Untreated, the infection clears within about 18 months but can last up to 5 years.

So, why use MolluDab?

MolluDab is a treatment which can be prescribed by your doctor or purchased from your pharmacy, or online. MolluDab is a well-tolerated, effective and clinically proven treatment, with results in just 1 to 5 weeks, as opposed to 18 months!

At what age do you get Molluscum Contagiosum?

It can occur at any age, however over 80% of cases are in children under 15 years and the infection is most common in children aged 1-5 years.

How do I use MolluDab?

MolluDab comes with a specifically designed micro-groove applicator that's precise, easy to use and protects healthy skin. Simply dab it onto the molluscum bumps twice a day. For more information about MolluDab and how to apply the treatment, go to:

I've been using MolluDab and my child's bumps have inflamed and gone red? What does this mean?

Don't panic. The redness and inflammation means that MolluDab has been successful. You can now stop using the treatment on the red and inflamed bumps, but may continue treatment on those that are not yet inflamed. As the body fights off the virus visible results may be seen within 1 to 5 weeks.

Stop using MolluDab after 14 days, even if no inflammation has occurred. In this case, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

Can I use MolluDab on my baby?

MolluDab is only recommended for use in children over 2 years of age.

My GP has never heard of MolluDab, what do I do?

The most common approach GPs currently take when treating MC is to do nothing, because it can go away on its own accord within 12-18 months. However, the condition can take longer to resolve and those affected can be highly embarrassed. It is available on prescription in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. You can also buy MolluDab over the counter (or order) from your local pharmacy, or online from Amazon.