Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Molluscum contagiosum usually resolves without treatment within six to 12 months. But doctors often recommend that the lesions be removed before that, particularly in adults, because they are so contagious. Treatments for molluscum contagiosum can be painful, so an anesthetic might be administered beforehand to lessen discomfort. Sometimes a combination of treatments may be used.

Medications

In some cases, prescription or over-the-counter medications applied directly to the lesions may be helpful. Examples include:

  • Irritating products. These preparations often contain ingredients, such as salicylic acid or potassium hydroxide, that help dissolve the lesion over time. Others may cause a blister to form under the bump, lifting it off your skin.
  • Antiviral creams. Prescription antiviral creams, such as imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara), are often effective in removing molluscum contagiosum lesions over time.

Surgical and other procedures

The methods doctors use to remove molluscum contagiosum bumps include:

  • Scraping
  • Freezing (cryotherapy)
  • Laser therapy
Apr. 03, 2012

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