Viral infection treatment

Caring for Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum thrives under warm and damp conditions, so keep the skin clean and dry. Try and avoid sharing the affected person’s towels, clothing, facecloths, bed-linen and toys to avoid spreading the condition.

Those affected should be dissuaded from scratching the bumps and certainly from squeezing them as this can promote spread to other areas of skin not yet affected. In children with the condition, thorough hand-washing should be encouraged to remove the virus from the hands. Affected children do not need to stay away from school (or equally, adults, from work).

For adults, shaving on the affected areas should be avoided. Also, if the ano-genital area is affected, refrain from sexual contact until you have seen a healthcare professional.

An introduction to MolluDab

The most common approach GPs currently take when treating Molluscum contagiosum is to do nothing, as the condition often disappears within 12-18 months of its own accord. However, the condition can take longer to resolve and those affected are often highly embarrassed or self-conscious about their condition. Historically, a number of unsuccessful approaches (owing to the pain and scarring) were used to treat Molluscum contagiosum. With the introduction of MolluDab in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a highly effective treatment is now available. MolluDab has been successfully used in Germany for several years and is the main product paediatricians most often recommend to treat Molluscum contagiosum. As mentioned, it is now available on prescription in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from your GP, or over the counter to order from your pharmacists (PIP-code 379-5333). MolluDab is a topical treatment which helps to kill the virus which causes Molluscum contagiosum and removes the bumps far more quickly than leaving the condition to resolve of its own accord. Furthermore, it does not cause the pain or scarring associated with certain physical removal techniques.

MolluDab works on Molluscum contagiosum

MolluDab contains 5% potassium hydroxide and this is dotted on the Molluscum contagiosum bumps twice daily by parents or the patients themselves. It breaks down the skin cells which encase the virus, to enable the immune system to recognise the virus and respond to it. After around 4-6 days treatment, the immune system mounts an ‘inflammatory reaction’ to Molluscum contagiosum. Once this inflammatory response has cleared the virus, the skin can begin healing and the Molluscum contagiosum lesions disappear after 1- 5 weeks.

How to apply MolluDab to Molluscum contagiosum

The video below demonstrates how to apply MolluDab. In addition, the following instructions are a concise guide on how to use MolluDab. For a full version, a patient leaflet is also available. Click here to download the patient information leaflet.

1) Once the plastic spatula cap is in use (once opened, MolluDab should be used within four weeks) dip into the MolluDab solution and remove excess liquid on the side of the bottle.

How to apply Molludab to treat Molluscum Contagiosum

2) Dab all Molluscum bumps with the flat side of the spatula and allow the solution to dry. After applying to 1-3 bumps, dip the spatula into the MolluDab solution again.

How to apply Molludab to treat Molluscum Contagiosum

3) Apply MolluDab as above twice daily (often best in the morning and evening) and close the bottle tightly and store upright between uses.

4) As soon as inflammation appears (recognisable by redness lasting 12 hours or more) stop using the product as this indicates that the Molluscum bumps are healing. Cease using the product after 14 days even if no inflammation is apparent and consult your doctor for further advice.

How to apply Molludab to treat Molluscum Contagiosum

5) Wait for the Molluscum lesions to heal (this usually takes between 1 and 5 weeks).

How to apply Molludab to treat Molluscum Contagiosum

MolluDab Patient Case Studies

MolluDab Patient Case studies - Rachael

Rachael is the mother of identical twin girls. When one of her daughters was 3 and a half, Rachael noticed the risen bumps characteristic of Molluscum contagiosum (MC) on her skin. These were filled with pus and quite itchy to start with then slowly become large red swellings which lingered for some time. Rachael thinks her daughter may have caught MC at day nursery, which is very likely considering how contagious the virus is, even under careful and hygienic conditions.

Rachael and her husband sought three different doctor's opinions as the rash did not seem to be clearing up. Molluscum contagiosum was diagnosed and an antibiotic cream prescribed for any infected lesions, however, the doctors explained that the condition should resolve of its own accord. In fact, after 8 weeks her daughter's MC had worsened, even with the use of the antibiotic cream. Rachael also tried anti-histamine syrups to no avail. After around 3 months Rachael felt that her daughter's condition was out of control, as she had over 60 MC lesions. She had understandably become very self conscious and was increasingly uncomfortable as many of the spots were under the arm and irritated by clothing rubbing the armpit area.

Realising that most GPs prefer to adopt the 'watch and wait' approach and knowing how fed up her daughter was with the painful and unsightly rash, Rachael looked for other treatment options on the internet. She contacted Eurocom Healthcare, a communications agency who were helping Alliance Pharmaceuticals launch MolluDab topical treatment for MC in the UK and they advised her that MolluDab was available on prescription and OTC at chemists. This had not been suggested as a treatment by any GP on previous visits to the Drs.

Rachael started to use MolluDab on her daugher's spots after bathing each evening and after only 6 days use noticed that the spots had started to disappear and no further bumps were appearing. Rachael found that MolluDab was "Excellent and quick acting" adding: "I am just so relieved this awful virus is under control and my daughter's red spots are finally disappearing. She is so much happier, is in no pain and is telling people her spots have gone. Thank goodness!"

Molludab Patient Case studies - Elizabeth

Elizabeth's daughter was only a year old when she developed Molluscum contagiosum (MC) back in July 2012. The rash, caused by a very contagious virus of the same name, started on her chest and abdomen then as these bumps abated, moved to her back, arms and legs. Elizabeth explains that the spots were worst on her daughter's arms and there is still one persistent lesion remaining. "The bumps began as small skin-coloured pimples which gradually grew in size, then became more red and angry-looking and 'burst' before clearing up. Fortunately my daughter has not really been irritated or bothered by the MC bumps and although she is aware of them, they have not caused her any real discomfort." As she is so young she has thankfully not been aware of them being unsightly, and her parents have kept the rash covered up so as not to cause concern from other parents and to minimise any risk of passing them on. Elizabeth adds, "We are lucky that there have not really been too many bumps at any one time and they did not spread to her face. Although some of the spots have left marks which are now fading, I'm confident they will not leave any permanent scarring."

Elizabeth consulted their GP about her daughter's condition and was referred to a skin specialist at the local clinic. The specialist confirmed she had Molluscum contagiosum and advised Elizabeth that it would disappear of its own accord in 18-24 months or thereabouts. Elizabeth and her husband tried an antiseptic healing cream on the recommendation of another parent with MC-affected children and this helped to speed up the recovery once the bumps had burst. Elizabeth continues, "As MolluDab was new to the market, we were advised that no treatment was available and would have to wait until our daughters immune defences built up for the rash to resolve. This was very frustrating."

When her daughter was two years old, Elizabeth was searching on the internet, and found out that Alliance Pharmaceuticals had launched a treatment for Molluscum contagiosum called MolluDab, and purchased a bottle from her pharmacist. Elizabeth applied MolluDab using the simple dab-on device twice daily to her daughter's spots and was pleased with the results after 5 weeks. She found that the spots treated with MolluDab became red and burst more quickly than when they had left them to develop on their own. Elizabeth explains, "My daughter's spots were already quite large when we started treatment, so we have no experience of using it to treat smaller, new spots. I was slightly concerned that the spots that had been treated left a more noticeable, angrier mark after they had burst. That said, the spots have faded significantly and are now barely visible."

Elizabeth's arm before and after MolluDab treatment