Molluscum Treatment Options:
Expensive and not very effective.
Anything you see advertised on the INTERNET for use at home
Don’t bother wasting your money.
It is effective, but it hurts so we do not use it on children (we have a painless alternative that is just as good – see “beetlejuice”)
Curetting (“scraping”) them off
Painful, scary, and unnecessary.
“Beetlejuice” (aka Cantharone)
This treatment is our favorite because it is effective and it does not hurt. The real name of the medicine is Cantharone and it is in fact “beetle-juice” (it is derived from the blister beetle). We use a Q-tip to painlessly apply the medicine in the office to several molluscum. By the next day, a blister will form wherever we put the medicine. Cantharone can only be administered by a physician. And it is not necessary to treat every lesion.
The idea is that it works in two ways:
1) First, the blister lifts the molluscum off the skin and when the blister falls off, so does the molluscum.
2) Second, it creates inflammation. Presumably this inflammation draws the attention of the immune system to the molluscum. Eventually the immune system “wakes up” and clears the virus. Evidence of this is seen in children who have hundreds of molluscum. We treat 10 or 12 molluscum at a time every two weeks and after several treatments and gradual improvement, they all suddenly disappear (even the ones we did not treat) practically over night.
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