How to treat molluscum contagiosum
In many cases doctors will leave molluscum to go away on its own without any treatment. However, it can take 18 months or longer for the bumps to clear as during this time new spots may develop while old spots are healing. There are treatments available which can help speed up the process of clearing the spots. Historically, several approaches have been used by healthcare professionals:
These treatments can be painful and cause scarring or infections and aren’t generally suitable for children.
Are there any complications with molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum doesn’t usually cause complications and the infection will eventually clear up on its own. However, in some rare cases, the spots may become infected with bacteria.
This is more likely to happen if your child or you have atopic eczema, (where the skin is particularly sensitive to substances such as dust mites or pollen) or if you have a weakened immune system. If the spots do become infected, treatment will be needed, which may require antibiotics.
You may be referred to a specialist in hospital if you have spots on your eyelids, near your eye, or your eye is red or painful. In rare cases, a secondary eye infection may develop, such as conjunctivitis.
What is the NHS advice on molluscum contagiosum?
Many doctors and dermatologists will advise against treating young children will molluscum if they feel that it would cause the child unnecessary pain and distress.
Treatment is usually only recommended for adults and older children who have spots that are particularly unsightly and are affecting their quality of life. Visit the NHS website for more information about molluscum contagiosum.