Parents get frustrated with molluscum for two reasons:
1. The pediatrician told them that no treatment was necessary when their child had only two or three molluscum, and now it has spread everywhere.
During residency training, most pediatricians are taught that the best treatment for molluscum is “no treatment”, because they will go away by themselves. On the other hand most dermatologists are taught to treat them. They are both right , it is just a difference of opinion.
Pediatrician “point of view: Most infections with molluscum are limited to a few lesions that will spontaneously resolve in a few months. So many pediatricians feel “why bother treating it when it will go away by itself”.
Dermatologist “point of view”: Untreated, molluscum may last for a couple of years. During that time it can spread to other children or to other areas on the child’s body. As specialists, we see the cases that did not resolve spontaneously. We see the cases where the molluscum have spread everywhere. Because of this, most dermatologists like to treat all molluscum until they are clear.
2. The treatment is taking a long time.
Sometimes molluscum can be a stubborn infection. Usually it takes one or two visits to clear the molluscum, but I have had patients require seven or eight treatment sessions before they are totally clear. During this time parents can get frustrated. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed things up. We are at the mercy of the child’s immune system. However I can say with certainty that every last molluscum will disappear…eventually.
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