Molluscum Contagiosum: A Common Viral Skin Condition In Children

Child With Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a very common viral skin condition in children. “Molluscum” are small dome-shaped bumps on the skin that have a central white or “waxy” core. They can affect any area of skin, but are prone to spread in areas of friction, such as the armpits and the creases at the elbows and behind the knees. Although individual susceptibility varies, children with chronic skin conditions, such as eczema, are somewhat more likely to develop molluscum. Molluscum are potentially contagious and are spread through physical contact. For siblings and close contacts, high risk activities include bathing together and sleeping in the same bed. Molluscum are generally not harmful, but they can become irritated or inflamed and sometimes cause an itchy rash on the surrounding skin. Without treatment, molluscum usually resolve spontaneously within a few months, although occasionally they may last up to two to three years.

While there is no single guaranteed cure for molluscum, there are a variety of treatments that may be helpful. These typically fall into two broad categories: those aimed at physical destruction of the lesions and those aimed at stimulating an immune response against the virus causing the lesions. Some methods employed to destroy the lesions directly include physical removal of the central viral core or freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen. Of course, these methods are less desirable because they are painful and carry a higher risk of scarring.

Molluscum Close UpAn alternative and less traumatic method of physical destruction is the application of a liquid known as cantharidin. Originally isolated from a blister beetle (and also known as “blister beetle juice”), cantharidin is applied sparingly to the lesions in the office setting. Instructions are given to wash the treated areas well with soap and water within a few hours, depending on the concentration of cantharidin used. Within 24-48 hours, a superficial blister should appear at the site of application. The blisters are not usually painful and should dry up and fall off within 1-2 weeks. Cantharidin is not appropriate for use on the face, genitalia, or between the buttocks. I do not recommend covering treated areas with bandages or tape as this can cause larger areas of blistering. I also do not recommend treating more than about 20-30 lesions at once, so some children may require multiple treatments.

For some situations, such as more sensitive locations (e.g., face, groin), it is more appropriate to use a prescription cream aimed at stimulating an immune response against the viral infection. Imiquimod cream (Aldara™) is FDA approved to treat genital warts in patients age 12 and older, but is used frequently as an “off-label” treatment for molluscum. A small amount of the cream is applied to the affected areas at bedtime a few nights a week. The main side effect of this cream is local irritation of the skin. In addition, it may take 2-3 months or longer to see results. Another cream that is used “off-label” to treat molluscum in children is tretinoin. Tretinoin comes in a variety of preparations that are commonly used to treat acne. Like imiquimod, it is applied sparingly to lesions at bedtime several nights per week as tolerated. It can also be irritating to normal skin and may take several weeks to months to result in improvement.

Although molluscum can certainly be uncomfortable and unattractive, they do not usually cause serious problems in otherwise healthy children. It is important to keep in mind that treatments are not always rapidly curative and that the lesions nearly always resolve spontaneously over time.

About Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist

I am a pediatric dermatologist at Texas Children's Hospital. I am board certified in pediatric dermatology, dermatology and pediatrics.

I treat infants, children and teenagers with a wide variety of skin conditions. I have special interests in pigmented lesions, vascular birthmarks and atopic dermatitis.

Posted in Parenting, Skin

370 Responses to Molluscum Contagiosum: A Common Viral Skin Condition In Children

  1. Hannah S says:

    I noticed that symptoms of this can often go in and out, sometimes it seems like they are gone but will come back. Do you recommend maintaining any sort of cream regimen even when it seems as though they have gone away?/

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, you can only treat the lesions that are present. I do not recommend using medications on normal-appearing skin. Some children do have several crops of bumps before they finally stop getting new lesions.

      • TJohnson says:

        my daughter has these little bumps could it be Coxsakie or Keratosis Polaris? she had recently had strep which led to scarletina rash, I gave her the antibiotics like the dr said when we were done with dosage these little skin colored bumps appeared?

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          I’m sorry. I wish I could be more helpful, but I’m afraid I really don’t have enough information to answer your question. I suspect this is a situation where I would really need to see what you are referring to in order to give you an answer.

        • Sp says:

          Hey tjohnson. I’m going through the same thing with my son. Once the rashes from his Scarlett’s fever cleared he started shredding. One that stop these bumps started appearing on his body. At first I thought they we mosquito bite but I knew they couldn’t be because he hasn’t gone anywhere. When the first come out there skin coloured (I’m African American) and then they turn black and he says they itches…after a few day there starts to look like there’s something under the skin around where the bump is. I took him to the doctor and he told me he had no idea what it was. They started on his calves. Now they’ve at least one on every part of his body. I’m trying very hard to get some Idea of what this might be. Did u figure out what your daughter has?

        • Sp says:

          Hey tjohnson. I’m going through the same thing with my son. Once the rashes from his Scarlett’s fever cleared he started shredding. One that stop these bumps started appearing on his body. At first I thought they we mosquito bite but I knew they couldn’t be because he hasn’t gone anywhere. When the first come out there skin coloured (I’m African American) and then they turn black and he says they itches…after a few day there starts to look like there’s something under the skin around where the bump is. I took him to the doctor and he told me he had no idea what it was. They started on his calves. Now they’ve at least one on every part of his body. I’m trying very hard to get some Idea of what this might be. Did u figure out what your daughter has?

        • KRYSTAL says:

          My son is diagnosed with mollucum. What should we disinfected the bed and couches with? Once he start medicine is it still contagious?

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            You should not need to disinfect your couches or other furniture. As for his linens and towels, I would just be sure to wash those in hot water weekly and avoid sharing them with anyone else in the family.

  2. Joe says:

    A year ago my daughter was diagnosed with MC. We went with 3 different doctors. The first one told us to apply a liquid that burned the bumps but never told us to do anything else. The second tried to burn them with freon (or some gas). The third one gave us the same medication as the first but told us the key to remove MC completely by giving us a needle to remove those bumps that grew after the application. He told us to make sure we remove the “cocoon”, which is a little white dot inside the bump. It was a crafting challenge but it worked and since then, all the bumps on her neck where gone.

    The funny thing is that our pediatrician (Dr. Paredes) told us “it looks like MC, but let’s wait and see” By the time she only had 4 to 6 bumps. After two weeks she hand 15 or more. It would have been easier to remove them just in case before they spread.

    Be really careful not to scratch or pop them because they can easily spread.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I’m happy to hear that your child’s molluscum have resolved. In general, I do not recommend “popping” or removing the central core from lesions at home. As the central core of the bump contains many viral particles, its removal can promote spread of the infection. In addition, this type of manipulation may lead to bacterial infections of the skin and increase the risk of permanent scarring.

  3. Kim says:

    Hi,
    My son has Molluscum warts under his armpits, his elbows and his stomach. Orginally there were only a few in the elbows, but somehow they spread pretty quickly. When I took him to the dermatologist said there were so many that he couldn’t freeze them off that he would have to use this cream, Imiquimod cream, and come back in a month. Well that is all well in good, but he is a wrestler and he will not clear him to wrestle. The cream seems to be working. So with that said at what point would you clear someone to wrestle in this situation?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Hello-

      In general, your son’s skin will need to be clear of intact molluscum lesions before he can be allowed to wrestle. The active bumps contain a lot of viral particles which can be spread through skin to skin contact. An alternative treatment option that may give you faster improvement (than the imiquimod) would be application of the cantharidin liquid I mentioned in the blog.

      Good Luck!

  4. Garrison McLaney says:

    My son had terrible bumps on the backs of his legs and on his torso. We tried several home remedies to no avail. Then a clerk at my local organic market suggested that since i is viral I give him Olive Leaf extract. So two doses per day for a week and they started going away right away! Now three weeks later they are fading beautifully. So exciting to get my little guy back to being comfortable! Had to share!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I feel compelled to inform those whose children suffer from this virus. I am not a physician, but I have a daughter whom suffered with this molloscum contagiosum for approx. 2 years. I am a nurse practitioner and a mother whom became desparate. I tried many of the online remedies which did not help.
    This is what worked!! Benzoyl Peroxide. It’s as simple as that. To be specific, I would clean her skin with Proactive which is a 2.5% solution. Then at night before bed, I applied the Mark Kay Acne treatment 5% to the areas. We dealt with this skin condition for two years and within one to two weeks, all the lesions were gone. It truly was a miracle and I have felt it to be my mission to let others know.

    • Amanda says:

      THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I so appreciate you sharing this because IT WORKED with my son. He’s 4 yrs old and was starting to get annoyed and I had these items readily available at home and am so thankful that you shared!!! Thank you Jennifer, have a blessed thanksgiving and Christmas!

      • Amanda says:

        My approach was a daily, lukewarm bath, using proactive every other day and then using the acne treatment evernight directy after toweling off. The “spots” as we called them were gone with in 3 weeks. There were some stubborn ones that would not go away, but they finally did…YAY! Consistency is the key :-)

      • Amie Fisher says:

        Did you use it on open ones as well?

    • melanie kirgiss says:

      hi there,
      my little guy has this bad…my first son had it and ProActiv worked like a dream…we just ordered it for my little guy. Yay! I’m glad others have used this method too! It does work!

      • Caroline says:

        Hi, I’m trying to find out what can help my 11 month old baby since she’s had the bumps for about 4 months now. I’ve tried Aldara and apple cider vinegar but they turn red and then nothing seems to happen. I’m going out to buy benzoyl peroxide tomorrow! Thank you for the suggestion! Do I just dab it on the spots and leave them, or put a bandaid to cover it? Thank you!

  6. Marie says:

    Can a liquid bandage be used to prevent the spread of the virus?I have lesions on my hands, and I would like to avoid wearing bandages at my job.

  7. Carolyn says:

    My daughter has a few molluscum bumps on her neck. My doctor recommended proactive. Can you please advise on how I should administer the acne medicine?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Honestly, this is not a treatment I routinely recommend for molluscum. I recommend that you check with your physician regarding specific instructions.

  8. Joan says:

    My adopted son from Ethiopia has MC. He came home with it from Ethiopia. My two daughters caught it and it took a year for theirs to clear. My son has been treated with beetlejuice which was painful and tramatic. The treatment left scarring and discoloration and the MC is still present. I want the MC to go away but do not want to risk further scarring his beautiful, dark skin. What can I do to not further damage his skin?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I know molluscum can be persistent and frustrating. Because they are caused by a pox virus, they sometimes leave pitted scars behind (this can occur with or without treatment). These generally improve over time. Also, residual discoloration should not be permanent, but may take months to resolve. Daily photoprotection with a good sunscreen is very important. Other options for treatment would include prescription topical medications such as Imiquimod cream (trademark name Aldara) or a mild tretinoin cream. Both of these can cause local irritation of the skin and should be applied spraingly at bedtime a few nights a week as tolerated. It may take several weeks or months to see resolution of lesions. Some children have lesions that are very resistant to treatment, but even these will resolve on their own eventually. I hope that helps.

  9. Kay Dee says:

    My 2 year old daughter has the bumps on the back of her knee. WHAT IS WORKING for us is the over the counter cream called “CeraVe”. It has hyaluronic acid in it. I heard about it from a friend who’s child has had the same issues. After 3 weeks of putting the cream on at night approximately every other night and covering it with a large waterproof bandaid, I am so thrilled tonight to post that it is working! The smaller bumps have disappeared and the one large one (looked like a large wart) has fallen off and there is just an open scab where it was. I use a Q-tip to apply and never double dip. I pray this continues to work. I put the cream on a small cut that I had on my hand and it just tingled a bit like I had put peroxide on it. My daughter doesn’t complain and she is really good about letting me put the cream on. Just wanted to share in hopes it may help someone else who reads this.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I hear many anecdotal reports from parents about a variety of products they have used for molluscum that may or may not have been helpful. It is great that you appear to be seeing results with application of the CeraVe cream. However, CeraVe cream is an over the counter moisturizer that is not specifically recommended for treatment of wounds or any type of skin infection (including molluscum). The hyaluronic acid in CeraVe cream is an ingredient that has special moisturizing properties useful for very dry skin. While I certainly do not think applying CeraVe cream to areas of molluscum is harmful, I would not expect it to be a very effective treatment in most cases. I do, however, typically recommend that children with molluscum have a heavy bland emollient applied to all their skin on a daily basis as molluscum will tend to spread more easily on skin that is very dry and/or irritated.

  10. Susan says:

    My son has MC around his genital area and has been treated 3x’s with beetl juice. It seems to be dryng up but looks really irritated, I have even noticed one or two on his penis since it rubs against his thighs. Should I be coverungthe MC and how long should the red irritation last. He also states it is itching more..doesthis mean it is drying up??? Concerned parent….

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      In general, I don’t recommend covering the molluscum with bandages, especially if they are in areas covered by clothing. If they are red/irritated, that usually indicates they are about to go away. I do recommend daily application of a heavy, bland moisturizer to all skin (e.g., CeraVe cream, Vanicream, Cetaphil cream, to name a few). When the skin is dry, the molluscum virus may spread more easily.

  11. Missy says:

    Your blog has been the most helpful so far! My 5 yo daughter was diagnosed with MC this week. She has a small amount on her groin area. I read a few articles about treatement with apple cider vinegar. (Apple cider vinegar baths and also putting a cotton ball with acv over the bumps with bandages covering at night). Have you heard of this? They say the bumps turn black and then scab over. Is there less chance of spreading if you just leave it alone?? It is not bothering her at all. She does get eczema in the winter. I’m just so concerned about it spreading all over her little body and passing it to her brother. They used to take baths together…not anymore! I am doing a lot of laundry hoping that it helps. I am cleaning like a mad woman and also trying to be consistent on not re-wearing anything. It’s always covered so I’m guessing that is helpful. What does it look like when it goes away naturally? Will it eventually turn black and scab over naturally or do they just fall off? Thank you again for your helpful info!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Yes, I have heard of using apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for molluscum. Some parents have told me that it worked well for their child and others have told me that it did not work for them. For a variety of reasons, it is not a treatment I routinely recommend. However, if you want to try it, I would suggest using a q-tip to apply a small amount to a few individual lesions at bedtime, then washing the treated area in the morning. I would not recommend wrapping or occluding the area, due to the risk of excessive irritation or burns to the skin.

      If they are not bothering her, you certainly may choose to leave them alone and do nothing. They will eventually resolve spontaneously, although this may take months or, more rarely, years. However, because the bumps contain viral particles, they can spread. Children with eczema and dry skin are at increased risk for contracting molluscum and the lesions may spread more easily on areas of dryness and active eczema. Therefore, I recommend daily application of a heavy bland emollient to all skin, as well as appropriate treatment for active eczema.

      Resolving lesions may simply “dry up” and “scab over” or they may become inflamed, with redness and swelling that is sometimes mistaken for a skin infection. Although inflammation of molluscum lesions with mild soreness is usually a sign of impending resolution, the child should be seen by a doctor if there is increasing redness, swelling, pain, and/or drainage that may indicate a true secondary bacterial infection of the skin.

      I hope that helps. Good luck!

  12. Missy says:

    Thank you so much! We are trying the apple cider vinegar tonight. No baths or all night treatments because that seems extreme for the small area she has…but we are trying a compress for an hour. She won’t let me touch them but I’m trying to get her to convince me to apply it like you said. I like that idea! Thank you again. I’m hoping to catch it before it spreads!

  13. carolyn says:

    i accidently left the cantharone on my daughter for longer than recommened ….. they said 6-8 hrs i left it on way longer what should i do,,,,, will it hurt her bad now ?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Only time will tell how her skin will react to that treatment. It is possible that she may develop a larger or more painful blister from the extended exposure time. I generally recommend washing that medication off after 4 hours. I find that the response to this treatment is variable. Some kids will not blister at all and, rarely, some kids react to it very strongly. If your daughter develops a large or painful blister from the medicine, I recommend that you use a clean needle to puncture the blister roof and allow the fluid to drain. You do not want to remove the roof completely as it will provide protection for the wound after it collapses. Keep the area clean and apply plain Vaseline and a bandage daily until it heals. If you see signs of infection, such as increasing pain, redness, swelling, or purulent drainage, you should have her evaluated by a physician.

  14. Missy says:

    Just an update- I did the diluted apple cider vinegar baths for about 2-3 nights. After that we started using a q-tip consistently every night. It’s been 3 weeks since I started and she has had a couple come to a head and scab over. We started doing a cotton ball swab that I just dab on because the spots are clustered together. Side note: The ones that are healing tend to burn with the apple cider vinegar so we try to leave those alone. I think the ACV draws out the core quicker. Thanks again for posting the helpful information!

  15. Angela says:

    Is there any way to prevent this? There is a family at my children’s preschool, and all of the children have it. How can I make sure that my children do not catch it?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that your children will not catch molluscum. In general, your children should practice good handwashing habits. It is also best if they avoid bathing and/or sleeping in the same bed with children who have molluscum. Although I do not recommend that children who have molluscum be kept out of daycare or school, it is best if areas of active lesions can be covered with clothing. Affected children should also be reminded not to pick or scratch at the bumps and to wash their hands regularly as well. I hope that helps!

  16. Julianne says:

    My daughter came home from Russia (she was adopted) with ONE little bump on her forhead. Her doctor in Moscow told us to have it looked at as soon as we got home. (I thought he was crazy!) Then BAM, one turned to a whole bunch. Sadly for her, they were on her face only. And mostly around her eyes. We saw a local derm who could treat the ones farest away from her mouth and eyes with cantharedin, and the others she couldn’t treat. I began to treat her with a homeopathic recipe that is commonly used to bring them out. As they got worse, they appeared on her “water line” of her eyes and so close to the inside of her eyes that we had to see a pediatric opthomologist..He was very aggressive and did surgery on her. She was 18 months old at the time. He recommended we keep doing the homeopathic recipe if it made them come out more so he could remove as much as he could. He shared that he could do the surgery and more could show up a week later.. Luckily, we had only a few show up and they were on her temples. We used clear nail polish and ….wait for it…TUCK TAPE on those few and we have been clear ever since. My baby is now 6!! I will share the recipe I used. There is a Yahoo group with lots of info on this..
    1) Liquid Echinacea (in a multi-vitamin mixture) You can use Astragalus
    also. You can get either the Echinacea & Astragalus combined in one and give
    for 7-10 days and then stop for 7-10 days (you have to stop for a while or
    body will become used to the drops and they will not work any longer) or you
    can get the Echinacea drops and the Astragalus drops separate and alternate the
    two one week Echinacea, the following week Astragalus.

    2) Newton # 36 wart liquid (just a few drops twice a day).

    3 Newton #1 Detoxifier Liquid (just a few drops twice a day).

    4) Thuja (pellet form) 10X MDV on the website (3
    to 4 twice a day)

    5) Ultra Colloidal Silver (10ppm) by Source Naturals
    by mouth. About 1-2 ml twice a day. Should not be
    given for more than 10 days at a time.

  17. Laura Brummett says:

    Dr. Wright,
    Once a child is completely clear of molluscum contagiosum, is it possible for them to get reinfected sometime later by another person? My daughter had it last year and it was gone in about 6 months. Then my second daughter got it shortly after the first cleared up. She’s had it about 8 months. Can the first daughter get it again? Will they just keep trading it back and forth?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It would be very unusual to get it again, especially if it has been several months since the lesions fully cleared.

      • Laura Brummett says:

        Unfortunately my first daughter has it again. In second time cases, do they usually get it as bad?

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          In my experience, it would be unusual for a previously affected child to have a severe recurrence. However, I certainly cannot accurately predict how many lesions your child will have this time, either. I know how frustrating they can be and I hope they clear up completely soon.

  18. Laura Brummett says:

    Are you familiar with a product called MolluscumRX and do you recommend it? Is it as highly effective as the company that makes it says it is?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I have heard of this product, but I have not seen any clinical data regarding its safety or efficacy and I have no personal experience with its use. For these reasons, I do not specifically recommend it.

  19. Emily says:

    Dr. Wright,

    My 3 year old daughter started with a few “spots” 9 months ago. I initally thought it was excema. It wasn’t until a well visit 7 months ago that I showed her Doctor her spots and she was immediately diagnosed with MC. A friends daughter had it and looking back, we suspect she caught it from her since the children swam all summer together (sharing towels, toys, etc). That same friend told me that her daughters’ spots went away “overnight” within a few months so I waited patiently. It wasn’t until a few more months went by that I really started to notice them spread further down her trunk and her thighs. Her Doctor prescribed Imiquimod “just in case” it got bad. We decided to fill the prescription 2 weeks ago. We have applied the Imiquimod every other night and only after 2 applications we have seen a major difference. Now, the difference isn’t pretty but it is working. Her body is fighting those spots and they are angry, very red, raised and beginning to scab. I hope we are on the road to recovery. This virus has been so difficult on her and us. It is so frustrating, especially for the little ones. I sympathize with all of you parents who have to deal with this. Thank you Dr. Wright for having this blog posting. I had to search the web a bit but have found comfort in reading all of the stories in response to this posting and other postings and pages about MC on the web.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Thank you for your comments. If your daughter’s lesions are looking red and irritated, it is highly likely that they are beginning to resolve. As someone who sees children with molluscum on a daily basis, I understand how frustrating this condition can be for parents. I sincerely hope your daughter’s molluscum will be a thing of the past very soon!

      • Laura Brummett says:

        My daughter has had molluscum for about 8 months now. Some lesions are turning red, swelling and then healing. As soon as one heals, several days later another turns red, swells, and heals. However, in the mean time she’s had some new ones crop up. Does this redness/swelling/healing mean her body is starting to fight the whole virus or just those individual lesions? Just wondering if we are on the road to recovery.

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          It’s difficult to answer that question for sure. Certainly, if she has bumps that are becoming red and irritated before resolving, that’s a sign that her immune system is fighting the virus. I would like to think this means that any new lesions will be likely to resolve somewhat more quickly. However, I find that the rate at which molluscum resolve tends to be unpredictable and can vary quite a bit. Rest assured, though, eventually they will all resolve and she will stop getting new ones. I hope it’s soon!

          • Rialyn says:

            Dr. Wright,
            I am so glad that I found your blog. My daughter is 5 and has a similar case as Emily and Laura. After months of not treating her MC I decided that something had to be done. She is very self-conscious with them on her body and about 11 days ago one of the bumps started looking infected and had a great amount of pus. It burst and I squeezed out the remaining pus. It is still a little red. I have been treating the rest of her bumps with ZymaDerm for about 11 days and making sure she’s taking her vitamins every day. I am just starting to see a couple bumps become red and irritated. It looks as if there is a greater amount of pus in them. They are raised bumps and are painful for her. What should I do? I hope this means they are resolving and not turning into another type of skin infection.

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            Most of the time, when they become red and inflamed, it means they are about to go away and they are not truly infected. When they look like this, I suggest that you stop any topical medication you have been using, keep the areas clean, and apply a topical antibiotic twice daily until they heal. (We prefer ones that do not contain neomycin as this is a common contact allergen for many people.) If the areas are becoming more red, swollen, or painful, you should probably have a doctor look at her to decide if an oral antibiotic is warranted. Good luck!

  20. Amy says:

    Dr Wright. Thank you for maintaining this blog site. My 7 year old daughter received the beetlejuice treatment yesterday on about 40 bumps. Unfortunately, most of them are on the upper backs of her legs and the blisters are big (the biggest is close to the size of a dime, right on her underwear line) which is making sitting difficult. My biggest concern is that when one of the blisters pops and the fluid oozes, which several have by evidence of her pajama pants this morning, that the fluid is infecting other parts of her legs. Is this the case? I can see the white spot in the fluid in some of them, so I’m guessing when that comes out, it’s still contagious? My doctor said yesterday she has too many to cover, and you mention also not to cover them, but I’m worried about spreading this virus even further. Please help! Thank you!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      The fluid from the blister should not be infectious. Any open areas should be cleaned daily with a mild soap and water. If open areas are sore, it is fine to cover them with a clean bandage. Also, any larger tender blisters can be gently drained by puncturing the roof with a clean needle. Just try to leave the roof intact to protect the underlying skin. I generally don’t treat more than about 20 or so molluscum at a time with this medicine, especially in areas subject to pressure or friction. Although the blisters are usually not very painful, they can certainly be sore. I hope that helps!

      • Amy says:

        Thank you SO much. You have already been more helfpul than the derm that I have PAID to see three times now. You have really put me at ease. Several of the blisters have drained today and I think I will cover them with vaseline just to be on the safe side.

        • Amy says:

          Dr. Wright,
          I do have one follow up question. As I said ealier, many of the blisters have broken open and are draining the fluid, but are still “puffy”. My concern is that I can still see the white bump of the molluscum. Should I be worried that these are going to scab over and the molluscum is still inside? I will just feel awful if I put my daughter through all of these blisters, missing a day of school because she couldn’t sit, only to have it not work. Is that possible? Thank you for your response!!

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            Although it is possible for some bumps to persist even after the blisters heal, most of them will resolve as the scabs heal and fall off. Children with many molluscum often require more than one treatment with cantharidin to completely resolve the problem. However, I would encourage you to let all the treated areas heal completely before deciding that she has remaining lesions or new lesions. Good luck!

  21. Sheri says:

    My 4 year old daughter has multiple lesions on her eyelid. I was told my the dermatologist to apply vaseline to the lesions to provide a barrier to prevent the spread. I haven’t really found any supporting evidence this works. She is doing the best she can to not touch her eyes but it still happens from time to time. She washes her hands often! I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the best way to prevent them from spreading all over her face? Can liquid bandage be applied to the eyelid?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Honestly, I think the best thing you can do to minimize the risk of spreading the lesions is to avoid rubbing or picking at the area. I do not specifically recommend application of Vaseline to decrease the risk of spreading and I have not heard of that technique. I also would not recommend application of a liquid bandage product to the eyelid as the skin is delicate and you might risk getting it in the child’s eye as well.

      Treating molluscum lesions on the eyelids is tricky due to the delicate location. If they are not right on the lash line, I sometimes prescribe a mild tretinoin cream and advise applying it very sparingly to the individual lesions a few nights a week. This is often helpful, although it certainly can cause local irritation of the skin and may sting/burn if it gets in the eyes.

  22. Laurel says:

    Hello –

    I was diagnosed with molluscum in my upper thigh in december.

    I am athletic and the virus spread to the other side.

    I have been to my primary care physician and treated with liquid nitrogen about 5 times. The last time I went she said they were going away and didn’t freeze certain ones but the bumps are STILL there. I went to a different doctor who said the same.

    Why would a bump still exist if the molluscum is healed or gone? Is it possible to have a left over bump but no virus?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It is hard for me to say what might be going on without seeing your skin. Active molluscum usually have a visible “waxy” core in the center. Other reasons you may still have a “bump” would include if you have residual scabs or hypertrophic scars related to the cryotherapy.

  23. Rachel Vieira says:

    Hello
    My daughter has MC on her face. I took her to the dermologist who treated her with the beetle juice. My concern is she had 18 of them on her face. I did not realize the effect this would have on her. They are as big as a pencil head. The busters are broke and some a scabbed or really really red. I went to the office hysterical. They told me they were normal and just use aquafor and silvadene !!! I’m horrified that they did this to my daughter. They also told me that it would take 6 months to 1 yr for the pigment to come back. She literally has red dots all over her face. She is refusing to go school. How can I heal these faster ? Should they ever use bettle juice in the face ? Its been two days and I feel horrible as a mother. I never knew this woul happen. Please help ?nwill they scar ? I’ve told her not to pick at them. She is not. Oh and I only left this on for 30 minutes. Is there anything else you think I could so to speed healing and make pigment come back faster. She is olive completion ;(
    Rachel

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I am sorry to hear about your experience. Personally, I don’t use cantharidin on the face, but I cannot comment on why another physician might choose to do so. Although the molluscum themselves will sometimes leave small scars behind (with or without any treatment), I can reassure you that the blisters caused by cantharidin are typically superficial and are unlikely to leave permanent scarring. However, given your daughter’s olive complexion, she certainly may have residual discoloration that can last for up to several months. If the lesions are still healing, the best you can do is to keep the areas clean, discourage picking and scratching at the scabs, and apply plain Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment to the spots to aid the healing process. Once all the scabs are gone, you should apply a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 to her face every morning (rain or shine, whether she will be spending a lot of time outdoors or not). This will potentially help with repigmentation of any light areas and prevent extra darkening of any residual dark areas as her pigmentation returns to normal. Also, if she is embarrassed by the appearance of the discoloration, you might consider covering the spots with make-up designed to cover birthmarks and disorders of pigmentation. Two quality product lines I recommend are Dermablend and Covermark. I hope that helps.

  24. Ashley says:

    I keep a 3 year old girl multiple days through the week. She has MC on her buttocks(cluster of them), also on her legs, and it is moving toward her feet. What can i do as a home remedy for this? Or is there any? Do i need to cover them with bandages? Is there any over the counter medicine that can help her?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although there are no specific home remedies that we routinely recommend for molluscum, you can read about some of the things people have tried in the other comments posted on this blog. You don’t need to cover the bumps with bandages, but it is advisable to have heavily affected areas covered with clothing, if possible. This will decrease the risk of spread through skin to skin contact with other children and discourage the child from rubbing or picking at the bumps.

  25. Melissa says:

    Is it okay to take my 5-year-old swimming? She has had molluscum patches on her bottom and a few bumps now just appeared on her legs. We had plans to go to an indoor water park, but don’t want to have any problems. Could we use a liquid bandage to cover them just for swimming?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although there is some evidence that the molluscum virus can spread via contact with contaminated water, I don’t generally prohibit children with molluscum from swimming. It seems that this is likely to be a bigger risk in heated pools, spas, or hot tubs than regular cold water pools. It may be helpful to cover the bumps with liquid bandage if she will tolerate that.

  26. Jill S says:

    My 2 1/2 year old daughter has MC on her back, only about 10 wart/pimple like pumps. My pedi told us that they should go away on their own in about 6-12 months. In the mean time I’ve read some articles about zymaderm and have decided to give it a try. We’ve only been doing it for 2 days and haven’t seen any results, but I still have my fingers crossed. I am currently 36 weeks pregnant, and I am concerned about our new baby contracting them. Is it common for infants to get them from older siblings?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      That’s a question and concern that we encounter frequently in our practice. Although it is technically possible to contract molluscum at any age, it is actually quite rare for us to see it develop in very young infants. I would suggest that you wash your older child’s hands well before letting her hold the baby. Also, I recommend that you avoid bathing the children together.

  27. Rebbecca says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with the mc on her vaginal area by her pediatrician and the referral was made to the dermatologist for beetle juice treatment. The dermatologist said if he would treat them but by law he had to notify children service since they are in the genital area. I had him go ahead and treat her. Is this a standard procedure for CS to be called? The pedeatrician said she probably got them from another child playing. Is this something uncommon in toddlers to have them in the genital area?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although the virus that causes molluscum can be spread through sexual contact in adults, we generally don’t worry about this possible association in children (unless there are other suspicious physical findings or circumstances, of course). Molluscum are extremely common and young children will frequently develop them in the diaper/genital area or on the buttocks. I suspect the dermatologist you saw may not see or treat a lot of children. In Texas, we are certainly not required to report all cases of molluscum in the genital area to the authorities. We would only be required to report a situation that was suspicious for possible sexual abuse.

  28. Angie Szymanski says:

    my daughter has had Mc for a few months mostly on her legs and it started with about 8 and was treated with bettle juice and then was just treated again last week on Tuesday again. The next day her lymph nodes swelled in her groin. I have not seen much reading about lymph nodes swelling and MC :( I am scared as she has now a sore lymph node pop out on her jaw near the front of her ear on Friday. She is on Kephlex since Wed. Should I be concerned? I worry it is not related and could be something more serious. Thanks for your help

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It is not unusual to see enlarged lymph nodes in the groin when there are actively inflamed lesions on the legs. I would expect these to improve as the molluscum improve and clear. If the lymph nodes remain persistently enlarged or tender, she should be evaluated by her pediatrician. The enlarged node you describe on her face is not likely to be related to the molluscum on her legs. If that one does not improve with the course of Keflex, I would have her re-evaluated by the pediatrician.

  29. Rachel Vieira says:

    Ok I need to post this. I uses acne cream !!! The pca line. It’s called phaze 33. I put it on twice and those little mosclumin are gone. I’m not a doctor !! Just a mom and read the previous posts. It worked !!! I got it in Massachusetts at Katherine Hines. Thanks for the earlier post ladies. And thank you thank you dr wright for keeping up this blog.
    Rachel Vieira ;)

  30. Alison Diamond says:

    You say you recommend that the affected area be covered with clothing if possible. My son had some lesions behind his knee which our dermatologist cut off. I have been watching the area very closely and there MAY be some very tiny ones following up (the appearance of possible new ones has been there for a couple of weeks, but they are really faint). During this time while I am watching the area and am not sure if there are more molluscum appearing, can he wear shorts to school, or is he potentially spreading the virus all this time? It’s getting hot and he’s uncomfortable.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Yes, I do think it may be helpful to cover affected areas if possible, both to keep the child’s hands off the bumps and to prevent direct skin to skin contact with other children. Having said that, I realize this is not always practical or possible (e.g., when lesions are on the face). If you are not even certain that active lesions are present, I probably wouldn’t worry too much about covering the skin at this point. However, if you are worried, you could cover the area with a band-aid or other bandage and your child could still wear shorts.

  31. Jessica Andrews says:

    Hi, I have been reading your site with interest. I’m in the UK and my daughter has been diagnosed (at a very quick glance) with molluscum under both arms, however I am not sure, as all the images I have seen online show the wart-like bumps. My daughter’s spots are red and not raised. None have a head or a centre. Some have a slight scabby surface, and she scratches them if possible (which I try and prevent). Could this still be molluscum? She is 2 years and 10 months old.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It is hard for me to say with any certainty if these are molluscum without actually seeing your child. Molluscum are certainly very common in your child’s age group and that is definitely a common location where they tend to occur. It is quite possible that your child is scratching the viral cores off before you are seeing them. The good news is that they tend to heal spontaneously once the cores are removed. The bad news is that the cores contain a lot of viral particles and the bumps can easily spread through rubbing and scratching. Try to discourage picking and scratching as much as possible. Molluscum are certainly a nuisance, but it would be very unusual for them to cause a serious problem in an otherwise healthy child and they will eventually resolve, even without treatment.

  32. HOPE says:

    My 4 year old son has MC, we have had blister beettle treatments at the dermatologist and have also treated some with Apple Cider Vinegar. Some of them have turned black and scabbed over but when the scab falls off they are still puffy – but I do not see any white so I think they are dead. If they turn black and scab is that an indication that they are dead? Also, do you recommend anything to put on the ones that remain puffy after the scab falls off. I have been using a first aid ointment for healing but it does not seem to be doing much. I have seen some creams to heal scars, do you recommend any of these. Thank you so much, I really appreciate having someone to ask questions to….this virus has been so stressful for us.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      If they are scabbed over and that central white or waxy looking core is gone, then they should be on their way to resolving without further treatment. The “puffiness” you describe is probably just residual inflammation and should heal on its own. I do not recommend any specific topical at that point or any over the counter “scar” products. I do recommend daily sun protection for exposed skin. Molluscum is caused by a type of pox virus and children will sometimes have small “pock marks” left behind after the lesions resolve, but these generally improve with time.

  33. Diane says:

    Dr. Wright, what do you recommend for my treating of MC? My problem is I’ve heard advice of not shaving due to spreading. I’m infected in my pubic area and inner thighs. I’ve not shaved in months! The area is so hairy I don’t know how to treat it even if I knew what to use.

    Miserable and struggling.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I would recommend you see a board certified dermatologist for help with your problem. An experienced dermatologist should be able to offer a variety of treatment options for you. If you are unable to see a dermatologist, you may want to try one of the home remedies patients have told me about. These include application of apple cider vinegar or benzoyl peroxide cream (i.e., the over the counter creams used for acne) to the lesions daily as tolerated. You are correct that shaving the area may spread the virus and cause more bumps, so I would avoid shaving in those areas. Even without treatment, the molluscum will resolve eventually on their own. In the meantime, remember that they are potentially contagious through close physical contact.

  34. Larry says:

    Is it ok to use aquapore on the blisters after cantharidin treatment? My dermatologist recommended vasoline. Thank you

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It should be fine to apply Aquaphor or Vaseline ointment to the treated areas as they heal.

  35. Jeannette says:

    Hi. My 11 year old was recently diagnosed with MC by his pediatrician. It seems to be spreading like crazy. The dermatologist can’t see him until the 20th. Should I try to get a sooner appointment with another dermatologist to stop the spreading or does it not matter? Also, I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for mets breast cancer. My white blood cell counts have always been good so far. Is this MC on my son a concern for me and my condition? Thank you.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It’s difficult to say for sure whether having him seen sooner will make a difference. The dermatologist can only offer treatment for the lesions that are present and he may continue to develop more bumps for awhile. While you wait, I would discourage picking and scratching and try to keep any heavily affected areas covered by clothing, if possible. As far as your own personal risk of contracting molluscum from your child, it is certainly possible, but most adults do not catch them easily unless they are severely immunosuppressed. I would advise you to wash your hands frequently and try to avoid skin to skin contact with the affected areas on your child as much as possible.

  36. JP says:

    Please help. I keep telling dermatologists that my daughter’s immune system is compromised. She went from three to 75 so quickly. I want a drug to boost her immunity. The dermatologist said it was an option, but she did not want to prescribe it. We did the beetle juice route ( among others) and it only made it worse. What would you recommend. The CeraVe made it worse too. Help!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I suspect the things you mention did not actually make the problem worse, but instead were just not very helpful and the molluscum are spreading. I see many children with entirely normal immune systems who have lots of molluscum, so I would not assume your child has a weak immune system based solely on the number of molluscum she has developed. There is no oral medication specifically for strengthening the immune system against molluscum. We sometimes prescribe oral Cimetidine for severe cases, but its effectiveness is highly variable and it has not been available in our area for quite some time. My specific recommendations would depend largely on where your daughter’s molluscum are located.

  37. Mike says:

    Hi, my son had molluscum for about a year before getting it treated with some sort of beetle juice and I was then told other things to do after removal of tape that was holding the beetle juice against the bumps, like apply rubbing alcohol and wash with soap. Fortunetly it worked but, after all this it left black spots where the bumps use to be, and my question is, is there a way to remove this or will it be gone over time. Thank you for your help.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      What you describe sounds like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is generally not permanent, but may take up to several months to improve. In the meantime, daily photoprotection is recommended for any exposed areas that are affected.

  38. allison says:

    My son was diagonsed with this 6.13.13 in the morning, I read what everyone was using and I saw someone used Benzoyl Peroxide so I have Tretinoin .1% (Rentin-A) for my face and I decedied to put it on his bumps on his back last night. This morning the bumps are all most gone so I put more Retin-A on him this morning and will replay again tonight. I hope this helps.

  39. Nicole says:

    My 20 month old was diagnosed at 14 months and had just one in the armpit area. Ped. Said to leave it so I did. Then recently they prescribed a cortisone cream for mild eczema. This was a dumb move as it spread it to 15 bumps across his chest, belly, ribcage, and to the inside of his arm. I have tried several different remedies including Conzerol and zymaderm. Zymaderm was shrinking them but they were still spreading. So I made an appointment with a Derm. In the meantime I was giving him Epsom saltwater baths with we’re drying them out. The Derm gave me retin A and did beetlejuice on about 8 of them yesterday. Some blisters have popped already. I am keepin them clean with peroxide and Vaseline, but I noticed a few hours after treatment that he had three new red spots in his diaper region which were never a problem and there was def. no contact down there due to being covered with diaper. Is it just the virus fighting back? I am trying to apply retin a on the ones not treated but he is not letting me near him with the blisters and all. Can I give him saltwater baths? I am so worried about the liquid in these blisters, popping and spreading. The last thing I want is more of these things. I have been giving him cimetidine for a week but don’t think I am giving enough. What would the dosage be for a 24lb 21 month old. He was on Prevacid his whole infant hood due to severe acid reflux so he is use to these kind of meds. Matter of fact he was on Zantac too. Please help me. It is growing down his arm and I am scared to spread it. He is suppose to start preschool in sept.. We also have a pool, can he go swimming if its just me taking risks or can it spread on him. This is such a horrible thing. Awaiting your help.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      To answer your questions:
      1. I’m afraid I really can’t say what is going on in the diaper area without actually seeing the problem. If the bumps do not have waxy white cores, they are unlikely to be molluscum.
      2. I don’t think saltwater baths should be a problem. I wouldn’t worry too much about the liquid from the blisters spreading the virus as that inflammatory fluid should not really be infectious.
      3. At 24 lb, your child weighs approximately 11 kg. I dose cimetidine at about 35 mg/kg/day and usually divide that twice daily. If you are giving him the oral solution that comes 300 mg per 5 ml, that would be 3 ml twice a day.
      4. The question of whether molluscum can spread via pool water has been somewhat controversial, but it seems to be more likely in warm water and humid environments. Personally, I don’t routinely recommend avoiding swimming for the patients I see with molluscum.

      I know how frustrating and annoying they can be, but they will go away! Hang in there.

  40. Emily says:

    I have mc. my doctor put beetle juice on, got the blisters,only a little pain. But now its at the point where all the blisters have gone down or opened and there all dark. Would it be bad for the treatment if I picked them off? Like would it make the spots reappear,… or would it be more likely to scar? It’s basically just circles of dark skin now and don’t really want to cover them up anymore when I go outside. There on my arm and its to hot to cover up anymore.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      In general, it’s best to avoid picking at any residual scabs or discoloration. Scabs will come off when they are ready and discoloration will gradually fade with time. It is also advisable to use a good sunscreen on any exposed areas of discoloration on a daily basis.

  41. Jen says:

    Thank you for maintaining your blog post! My daughter was recently diagnosed with a “crop” on her leg. Her doctor prescribed .05% Tretinoin cream. We’ll start treatment tonight. However, I never heard of this cream so, I was reading about it and saw that it is used for cosmetic reasons on the face for wrinkles and skin smoothness. Is this safe? This made me curious about how well it will work on the bumps. Our doctor insinuated the cream would “burn” the bump, it would scab and fall off much like LN. Any thoughts?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Yes, topical tretinoin is sometimes used as a treatment for molluscum. The main side effect of topical tretinoin is local irritation to the skin. It is not well-understood how it works in the case of molluscum, but we think this minor irritation may help activate immune cells in the skin that can fight the virus that causes the molluscum. I recommend application of a very small amount at bedtime, beginning 3 nights per week only and gradually increasing to nightly if the child is tolerating it without too much discomfort. Good luck!

  42. Christy says:

    Thank you for your blog, it has been very helpful! My daughter was recently diagnosed with MC, about 15 small pearly flesh colored bumps on her leg with a tiny white center in them. I brought her to the pedi derm who treated them with the blistering beetle. My questions are:
    – Does the blistering beetle kill the virus in that particular bump?
    -Should i keep them covered? Is the fluid that leaks out contagious or is it just the white part in the blister?
    -A few have popped and the white part remains. Is this what is supposed to happen and than as it heals and scabs they will disappear with the scab?
    -Is it ok to be putting bacitracin on them while they heal? Will that kill any virus that comes out?

    Appreciate any input you can provide, thank you!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      To answer your questions:

      The blister beetle juice probably does not directly kill the virus, but acts more by physically destroying the bump via the blistering and healing process.

      You don’t have to keep them covered, but you can if you want to or if the child is habitually picking or scratching at the areas.

      The blister fluid should not be contagious. Only the hard white central core in the molluscum bump is considered contagious. Those do usually resolve as the blister forms, scabs over, then heals.

      I typically don’t recommend over the counter Bacitracin or Neosporin as they can both cause a contact dermatitis in some people. Generally, I just recommend keeping the areas clean and applying a small amount of plain Vaseline a couple of times a day to promote healing.

      Hope that helps.

  43. Sarah says:

    Hello,
    First thanks for your time and patience in responding to the blog.
    I just had molluscum curettage on my neck, face, thighs, and arms while discovering the bumps on vacation. I’ve covered them with bandages for the past 48 hours and they are definitely red and inflamed. Due to cosmetic reasons I’m about to switch to liquid bandaid. Would you reccommend this approach? It’s difficult dealing with lesions on my face. I caught it early so the bumps were mild. Any input is greatly appreciated.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      At this stage, you really should not need to cover the healing areas. I would just keep the skin clean and apply a small amount of plain Vaseline ointment or Aquaphor ointment to the areas a couple of times a day. Also, make sure you use good sun protection if you are going to be outdoors.

  44. Allison K. says:

    My 19 month old son was just diagnosed with this by his pediatrician. He has 10-20 small spots on his chest at any given time; they do not bother him or seem to be getting worse. Our pediatrician did not recommend a course of treatment and simply stated they will resolve on their own in 6-36 months. Should I get a second opinion from a dermatologist? Is it best to treat these spots to avoid the spread of the virus? I would hate to have the spots get bigger or spread further and cause pain or scarring…

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Allison —

      Although it is not wrong to leave molluscum alone until they resolve spontaneously, they certainly can spread. If you would like to know what your treatment options are, I would suggest trying to see a pediatric dermatologist. Depending on the number and location of lesions, there is usually something that can be done to try and hasten their resolution.

      Good luck!

      • Ann B. says:

        My five year old just finished her second treatment. Her pediatrician said they would resolve themselves. I didn’t realized how they would spread before they got better “on their own.” I’m glad we went to the dermatologist before they got worse than they did.

        Thanks for your blog, Dr. Wright. It has been very helpful!

  45. Michelle D. says:

    Our daughters had molluscum last year. Two of them had dozens of lesions that were treated with Beetle juice and eventually the molluscum resolved on its own after several rounds of treatment though it took about 8 months for our youngest daughter (2 1/2 at the same) to finally be bump free. That was about 7 months ago. Recently we went to a friends house to swim in their pool and afterward I found out their two young children (3 1/2 and 2) had active molluscum infections. The younger one had a couple bumps on her chest & inside her elbow that weren’t covered by a bathing suit and was swimming in the pool (it was a heated pool) with the other kids. Our girls did not share towels with the other children but they did use their pool toys like noodles and an inflatable boat. After our ordeal last year – with spreading of the bumps, repeated beetle juice treatments, and just general anxiety about it spreading – I am very worried about our girls catching it again. Is it likely for a child to have molluscum a second time? Thank you.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although theoretically possible, it would be unusual for your children to catch molluscum again. In general, once children have had a bout that has resolved, they have some natural immunity that protects them from re-infection with the virus.

  46. Jill S says:

    My 3 year old daughter had her mulluscum treated with beetle juice last Thursday (1 week and 1 day). She had no pain and they did not blister like the dermatologist told us she would. Does this mean we need to go back for another treatment? How long do they usually take to clear up after treated?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      If there was no blistering reaction at all, I would suggest you take her back for another treatment. You may be told to wait longer before washing the medication off or your doctor may have a stronger preparation of the “beetle juice” that can be tried instead. If the treated areas blister, they generally scab over and heal within 1-2 weeks.

  47. Chris says:

    My 7 yr. old had a solitare molluscum froze off 3 weeks ago off his forehead. I looked back at some pictures and saw that he had actually had it for about 2 years, just smaller. Do you know how long a single molluscum can live? I’m just worried that it could have been something else. (It wasn’t pearly and didn’t have the indent, and grew elongated pretty quickly. There is still a small bump left after the freezing.)
    Thank you, Chris
    Thank you, Chris

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      In my experience, most cases of molluscum last a few weeks to a few months. Less commonly, children may have molluscum for 1-2 years or longer. It is difficult to say how long any individual lesion is expected to last, though. It is also somewhat unusual for a child to have only one molluscum lesion, although I have seen this on occasion. You mention that your child’s bump was “elongated,” which makes me wonder if it might have been a wart instead (facial warts tend to be “filiform” and look like a cluster of finger-like projections). If it persists, it would be reasonable to have a dermatologist look at it again.

  48. Tara says:

    I have twin boys. One of my sons has mc on his back, just two small spots which have not spread at all since February. My other son has them very bad under his left armpit, across his chest, a few on his genitals, and everyday he wakes up with more and more, he has also had this since Feb. I tell him not to scratch but he also has bad eczema. They do not share towels or wash cloths and I bathe him with dove unscented soap. Last time he went to our pedi she gave me bactroban for the mc when they get infected bc they looked like they were turning into staph infections. I apply aveeno every night bc he has such dry skin. She gave me Imiquimod cream 5% to apply 3 times a week, that seemed to make them very irritated and it caused him to scratch! I’m so frustrated!! He has so many I don’t think freezing would be a good idea bc they spread daily, today they were in the fold of his arms. What else can I do besides wait?? It’s been 6 months!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I understand how frustrating molluscum can be. If he can tolerate the Imiquimod cream, I would use a small amount on some of the lesions at least three nights per week. The irritation it causes may help activate the immune system to fight the viral infection, so it is worth using unless it is causing him too much discomfort. I generally do not freeze the lesions in young children, especially when there are a lot of them. Make sure you keep him well-moisturized and try to keep his eczema under control as molluscum are more likely to spread on dry skin or active areas of eczema. If there is a pediatric dermatologist in your area, you might try to have him seen there, if possible. Good luck!

  49. Jackie says:

    I hope you can help, even though I am not a kid. I am 26, and it seems that I have been struggling with molluscum for almost 3 years now. I used only Aldara at the beginning (maybe 3 months), but I gave up on it because it was taking a very long time. I then had dermatologists cut them out and/or burn them off. Every time, a few more would come back. It took about 8-10 months for them to go away… towards the end I started applying cotton balls onto the lesions soaked in acv and taping them. At that time, I was also drinking apple cider vinegar. I mostly had it on my genital area- mostly the thighs and below the genital area. I was good for a year, and then it started randomly coming back (every couple of months).

    I was told that once the lesions were gone, the virus was gone. I also read that molluscum is not like herpes and that it does not stay “dormant”. I don’t understand why it keeps on coming back… it does back come back in the same area, too. I had blood work done a couple of months ago and my doctor said that my results were perfect. I do not understand why my immune system won’t fight against this. I am now starting to take a lot more vitamins and eat more vegetables and fruits. I am also going to see a new dermatologist soon and an infections doctor.

    I hope you can help. Thank you for dedicating your time to answering these posts. This virus is so difficult to deal with, and not many people out there seem to know much about it.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      If you are certain you are not immunocompromised, the molluscum will clear up eventually. Until then, your only option is to treat them as they appear and wait it out. Make sure to keep your skin well-moisturized and avoid shaving over active lesions as this will also promote spread of the bumps. Some people get good results with application of apple cider vinegar, as you mention. I have also heard that OTC acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide are helpful for some people. If the lesions are not numerous, they can be curetted or treated with cryotherapy by a dermatologist. I know they are frustrating. In the meantime, please remember that they are potentially contagious through close physical contact. Good luck!

  50. Samira Guera says:

    My 2 year old daughter has this. It started about a few months back with one small one right next to her nipple. we weren’t too concerned about it because we thought it go away but it got bigger so we took her to the doctor and she told us it was this. It has currently been spreading faster than ever. and the one next to her nipple is red & looks infected. we are waiting to take her to the doctor on Monday. Should I be over concerned?? Is there any treatment I can do for this besides the burning? I don’t want her to go though pain or anything. Thanks.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Most of the time, when the bumps get red and swollen, they are inflamed, but not truly infected. This is usually a good sign that the immune system is active against the lesion and it will resolve soon. As I have stated previously, I don’t usually freeze or physically remove molluscum bumps (especially not in younger children) due to pain and the risk of scarring. If the lesions are non-facial, I tend to use Canthacur, which is a liquid that is applied to the bumps in order to cause a localized blistering reaction, followed by resolution of the lesions. Canthacur does not hurt when it is applied to the skin and it would be unusual for any resulting blisters to cause significant discomfort.

  51. laura says:

    Hello there i have these symtons <–spelled wrong i think but im 15 i had them on my chest nd i though there were pimples so i treadted like a pimple and it went away and then they back on my back and arms but now my sister has them every she went to the doctor but she it was allergis gave her medicine but she still has them but its wierd cause my mom is 51 and she has them but i have less then them and im itching do i has m.c or something else

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Hello there. Unfortunately, I really cannot be certain what you have without seeing the bumps. It would be unusual for your mother to have them also at her age. I think you will need to see a doctor who can examine you and give you a diagnosis for your condition. Good luck.

  52. Curtis says:

    We are sooo glad we found this webpage. We have a 7 year old son that has had MC for about 4-5 months. We didn’t know what the few bumps were at the time until a dr visit in July when the dr diagnosed them as MC. The majority of bumps are on his scalp(15) and a few on his face. We were prescribed RetinA. We have found that applying the cream, epsecially to the areas on his scalp, is difficult. There are most likely lesions on his scalp that we still have not found. The areas on his face that we applied the cream to really dried out his skin and we found that he was itching/touching those areas thus finding a few new areas that have popped up. Our Dr had suggested possibly cryotherapy or curretage of the lesions, but that is not a road we are wanting to go down since the lesions are on his head. He is a wrestler(state champ) and so we know that he can’t be on the mat until these areas clear up. We also know there appears to not be a “quick fix.” Practice will be starting in a few weeks and we are afraid he will miss the season. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, there is no simple, guaranteed solution for you. The topical creams that are typically prescribed (tretinoin or imiquimod cream) are potentially irritating to the skin. In fact, a little irritation is thought to be helpful as it is a general sign of immune activity in the area. However, I certainly understand your concern if the irritation is causing your child to pick or scratch the lesions.

      On his face, I think your best bet is to stick with the tretinoin. I sometimes use a weak solution of trichloroacetic acid if the lesions are not close to the eyes, but your doctor may not have that option for you. On the scalp, your child is probably old enough to tolerate treatment with light cryotherapy applied with a cotton tip applicator (not sprayed directly from the canister), but I am definitely not a fan of curettage (mainly because it hurts, but it is also more likely to leave permanent scars).

      If you are looking for fast results, the cryotherapy is probably your best bet for the scalp. If done carefully, it should not be extremely painful. Your doctor could also apply a small amount of topical anesthetic cream to the lesions about 30 minutes prior to the cryotherapy if desired. If you are really opposed to cryotherapy, you will probably have to stick with the tretinoin and wait it out. Good luck!

      • Curtis says:

        Thank you for your response. We have gone back to the tretinoin cream as his skin isn’t as dry as it was when we were actively using it. We had taken a break from it, but figure it is worth a try again. We were at our family Dr (whom had originally made the dx) for another issue and he had recommended cauterizing his scalp lesions. Is this effective? Is it safe? We don’t want hair to not grow in the areas that are cauterized….. is that likely? There are easily 15 lesions on his scalp area.
        Your thoughts and suggestions are very appreciated. Thanks again

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          I assume your doctor is referring to electrocautery and I would not recommend that. It would be painful and you would definitely have a risk of scarring. On the scalp, that could result in permanent hair loss. In experienced hands, it might be effective, but I feel the risks are too great to warrant using this method.

          • Curtis says:

            Hi again, Dr. Wright. As of right now our son has about 18 bumps total, 4 very small ones on his face and the rest in his scalp. We are still using the tretinoin but the results don’t seem to be as fast as we would like. I’ve seen you mention the cantharidin, can this be used on his scalp? Once again one of our concerns would be potentially scarring and/or hair loss. Thanks!

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            Personally, I don’t use cantharidin on the scalp, face, or genitals. I do sometimes use a 20% trichloroacetic acid solution on facial lesions that are not near the eyes and I would be comfortable using this on scalp lesions as well. I don’t recall if you said how old your child is. If he is old enough to tolerate it, and you just can’t stand waiting any longer, your physician could consider applying a topical numbing cream and using a curette to gently remove the active cores. This is something I don’t do very often, because it can be painful, and it may increase the risk of scarring, but it is an option in an older child. I know they are frustrating. Hang in there!

  53. Kris says:

    Dr. Wright, thank you so much for maintaining this blog. Our 6 year old son was diagnosed with MC 4 month ago after presenting with five or six 3mm lesions on his left shoulder blade. As they were not spreading nor bothering him, we elected to just let the virus run its course. In the past three weeks the MC has spread to about 50 lesions from his left elbow, down his torso and back, to his left leg. They are much smaller and resemble tiny pimples. As a result of the spreading (hopefully not the cause) we had taken a more active “kitchen sink” approach to home treatment including all the usual suspects – ACV, benzoyl peroxide, conzerol, etc. While helping to dry out the larger original lesions it has done nothing to change the small lesions nor my ability to find a new one each day. We have an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist in two weeks (which cannot come fast enough) at which time I’m hopeful to get him on a Cantharidin program. In the meantime I have a few questions:

    1) Should I cease the home treatment until we’ve seen the dermatologist to let the skin heal on its own? I’m not sure of the efficacy of our home treatment regimine and concerned stopping completely could result in having 100 lesions in two weeks.

    2) Left untreated, should I expect the small lesions to grow to the size of the larger original five – six or is there no way to tell?

    3) Thoughts on ACV baths? Enough anecdotal evidence to give it a shot or does soaking in a warm tub increase the potential for spreading?

    Many thanks for your time and advice.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      In response to your questions:

      1) I would only stop what you are doing at home prior to your visit with the dermatologist if there is a lot of irritation or a rash around the molluscum. I say this because I do not like to use the Canthacur on molluscum when there is a lot of irritation around them. Otherwise, it should be fine to continue what you are doing.
      2) Molluscum come in all sizes and I really couldn’t say if the small ones he has will get larger. In my experience, some are large and some are small and the small ones do not necessarily get larger over time.
      3) I have heard anecdotal reports of apple cider vinegar helping when directly applied to lesions, but I would not typically recommend adding it to a bath. My concern is that it is potentially drying to the skin and the molluscum virus can theoretically spread more easily on dry skin.

      Hang in there and good luck!

  54. Trisha patterson says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with mc about 3 weeks ago . Had the growths treated with the blister bee method . Some worked some didn’t we go back in a month . She has a rash that comes and goes on her arms and legs the derm said this was an allergic reaction to her body trying to fight the mc. Gave her a script for Cort cream and told me to give her zertec and Benadryl for the rash . She hasn’t had anymore modes show up but now the rash is back .. Is this normal side effect of mc ? Thanks !

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Molluscum can commonly cause “molluscum dermatitis.” This appears as a rough, pink, itchy rash which is located around the areas of active molluscum lesions. Occasionally, I do see children who develop a more widespread rash as a hypersensitivity reaction to the molluscum. This is called an “id reaction.” Both of these rashes will generally resolve once the molluscum have cleared.

  55. Trisha patterson says:

    Ok thanks ! What do u recommend to treat the rash ? Is it because her skin is dry ? The rash is now only on one leg and it’s almost like very small hives . I went and get her vanicream to deal with the dry skin .. I want to try all before I take her back to the doc .. Am I on the right track or it time for a dr visit ? Thanks again !!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Dry skin is often a contributing factor. I recommend bathing with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser and applying a thick fragrance-free moisturizing cream to the skin after bathing. If the rash is very inflamed and itchy, I generally prescribe a topical steroid to apply twice daily until it is improved.

  56. Daphne says:

    Could using a liquid bandage prevent the virus from spreading to other people? I have been getting occasional molluscum blemishes around my pubic region on and off for almost four years now (I’m 23), and I would like to be intimate with people without worrying that they will end up having to deal with it as well. I don’t mean to propose this as an alternative to being honest with my partners about having the virus, it would just be nice to know there are steps I can take to be clean and safe while still having some fun.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that liquid bandage will provide enough protection to prevent spread of the virus to someone you are in direct contact with. The dried coating that forms the “bandage” could be knocked off with friction or trauma and I’m not sure you would know. I think your best course of action is to see a dermatologist who can help you with treatment to clear the molluscum lesions.

  57. rozella siqueiro says:

    my son is 4 years old has bumps all under his right arm two days ago i seen another one formed on his right side of stomach looked like a pimple but kn its real big and he says that it hurts what do i do

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      When the bumps get red and swollen, it usually means they are about to go away. I would keep the area clean and watch it to make sure it is getting better. If the pain, redness, swelling, or drainage are worsening, you should have a doctor look at him to evaluate for possible secondary bacterial infection of the skin.

  58. reema says:

    hi doctor , i do appreciate your useful plog & your efforts to help us ,
    my daughter is 3 years was diagnosed with MC 2 mnth ago , she had 20 lesions on her bottom and back , the dermatolgist. treated these 20 lesions with liquid nitrogyn , and it was painfull for her , they went away , on the next appointment ( two week later) new lesion appered and another liquid nitrogyn session was done for her (they were also around 15 bumps) , after that she kept having new lesions which made me really down and sad for her , i went to another dermatoligist and he told me to apply (duofilm) on the new ones , and i did , i noticed they disappeared by 3-4 days , but again i still see new lesions coming up!!! and her skin started to get irritated , we went back to the first dermatoligist , she asked us to stop the duofilm and wait until they became bigger and she will remove them in the clinic !! i feel it is an endless cycle !! my questions for you doctor are :
    1- what do you think about duofilm on new MC , (actually the new one are verry small ,and reddesh. i am not 100% sure if they are ) .
    2- will i excpect seeing more new MC and for how long ?? weeks months ??
    3- how can i distinguish if the new small red bumps are MC or something else .
    4 – your advice please in my daughter case ,?? do i have to wait till they became bigger and be removed by the dermatoligist with an endless painfull cycle!
    5- i ordered zymaderm ( a topical ointment found good reviews to cure MC, contain tea tree oil & iodine) what do you think about these ingrediends to cure the new (small MC) .
    6- is MC contagious ones its appeared ?? the vsmall ones also !!
    thanks again

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      To answer your questions:

      1. I don’t specifically recommend Duofilm for molluscum, although I am aware that some other doctors do and I have been told it may be helpful for some. I just think it can be pretty irritating to the skin, depending on the location and number of lesions.
      2. Unfortunately, the course can be unpredictable and I can’t say how many new lesions will appear or for how long new lesions may appear. Do make sure to apply a good creamy moisturizer to your child’s skin every day after bathing as the virus can spread more easily on rough, dry skin.
      3. If the bumps are too small to see the white, waxy core in the center, it can be hard to know if they are truly molluscum lesions.
      4. I don’t think you have to subject your child to any treatment you are not comfortable with. Personally, I favor treatments that cause the least discomfort, particularly for younger children.
      5. Although I do not specifically recommend it for my patients, I have had some parents tell me they used Zymaderm and found it to be helpful.
      6. Yes, molluscum are caused by a pox virus and they are potentially contagious, no matter what size they are.

      Hang in there! I know they are terribly annoying and frustrating. They generally resolve on their own eventually, even without treatment.

  59. Rachel says:

    My daughter has had MC for around 9 months. Up to now I’ve been able to keep all her lesions covered with clothing but she just got one on her forearm. Its still too hot (NV) to wear long sleeves and she is allergic to the adhesive on bandaids. Is it worth using liquid bandage? Or could you recommend a less allergenic brand of bandage? I am really anxious to try and prevent it spreading further on her and to her preschool classmates. I am terrified of her baby brother (7months) catching it from her. Does nursing provide any resistance to the virus? I am taking all the usual precautions – I don’t bathe them together or let him swim at all. I have her wash up before touching him as much as possible. I know infants don’t get it as much but I’m still really worried about it. Does anyone know why infants don’t get it as much? Any advice much appreciated.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      You could try it, but I really couldn’t promise that a liquid bandage product would provide reliable protection against spread of the virus. If she can’t tolerate the adhesive in band-aids, I think your only option is some type of lightweight clothing.

      You are correct that it is unusual for us to see molluscum in younger infants, although I don’t think the reasons are well understood. And I don’t think anyone knows for sure if breastfeeding provides any specific protection against the virus that causes molluscum. I do, however, agree with your decision not to bathe the children together as there is some evidence that the virus can be spread via water.

  60. Sophie says:

    I am currently removing a wart and it has nearly been successful, I have started to notice flesh coloures bumps around the wart, could these also be warts?

  61. Vanda says:

    What can I do if my son’s spots ” we called them spots” starts to be ver irritated and inflammated – which cause him pain – not able to touch and sometimes even tend to bleed, than dry out and dissapear. I was reading in different source it might be related to the toxins in digestive system of your child. My son is healthy – no problems otherwise. please any advise?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Molluscum can become very inflamed and tender sometimes. This usually means they are about to go away. If the pain is severe or worsening, or there is increasing redness or purulent drainage, he should be seen by a doctor who can determine if there is a secondary bacterial infection. Otherwise, I would just keep the areas clean and monitor them for expected resolution. Covering them with a bandage may provide some added protection against trauma and irritation and improve his level of comfort.

  62. sam a says:

    after 3 weeks of freezing my son’s MC (second session) , i saw small red pimples , the dermatologist said he is not sure if these are MC or not , my question is : how many weeks/months these pimples need to be obviously MC or not & is there anything can be done for MC in early stage ? does betadine help ?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      This is a tough question. Sometimes, molluscum bumps are small and sometimes they are larger. There is no way to predict if small ones will become large or to know how long that process takes. Personally, if I can’t tell they are molluscum, I don’t treat them like molluscum. Over time, those small bumps will either resolve or become larger and declare themselves as molluscum. Do encourage your child not to pick or scratch at the areas and keep them covered with clothing if you can. I would not recommend using Betadine on them because it is pretty harsh and can be very irritating. I have even seen it cause chemical burns when used on children.

  63. Jeri C says:

    Hello, Dr. Wright! Thank you so much for keeping up with this blog. Frankly, I don’t know where to turn. Our intmed/ped left his practice right before my son, almost 2, came down with MC. I didn’t know where to go so I took him to our local children’s hospital’s urgent care. They dx with MC and to leave it alone-any meds would cause scarring. After a month, it got worse, and I received a letter starting my old dr’s office had a dr accepting my old dr’s patients, so we went to her for his 2 year check up.

    I talked to her about MC, and told her what the UC dr said. She agreed-no meds. It’s now two months since then and it’s gotten so much worse. All over arms, elbows, shoulders, thighs, legs, ankles, and now behind his ears and on his scalp. He has aplasia cutis, so he has a tiny bald spot that is covered with MC. It’s terrible. It itches horribly and I called to ask if there was any way I could get a referral to a pediatric derm, based on your previous advice here. Her nurse called me back-said there’s no point because it will go away in it’s own time. She did say I could use hydrocortisone cream to help with itching. I did that already based on a pharmacist recommendation. That hasn’t seemed to help.

    He has clusters about a half dollar size in varying areas. He Also has continuous bumps on his arms and legs. I tried covering them with waterproof bandages and triple antibiotic before. I see you don’t recommend that, so I won’t try that again. He’s itching and scratching no matter what the time-he scratches until he bleeds in his sleep. I am at a complete loss here. What should I do?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      While it’s true that many doctors do not advise treatment since these lesions are generally medically harmless and will resolve spontaneously over time, I do not agree that treatment is never indicated. Clearly, these lesions can cause significant discomfort for children and lots of worry and stress for their parents. (The traffic on this blog alone will attest to that!) While we can’t promise a rapid cure, we can usually offer something to help speed resolution in many cases. I am generally not a fan of painful destructive methods (such as scraping the bumps off or burning or freezing them off), especially in younger children.

      However, we do have a few other options that are generally safe, relatively painless, and fairly effective. It is not true that all treatments will cause scarring. In fact, the molluscum virus is a pox virus and we frequently see “pock mark” scars left behind on the skin after the bumps resolve. Children with widespread infection are at risk for significant scarring from this alone. For the itching, I recommend you bathe your child daily in a lukewarm bath with a gentle cleanser (such as Dove™ or Aveeno™). You might try an oatmeal bath (such as Aveeno™) or adding baking soda to the water. After bathing, apply a thick, creamy moisturizer (fragrance-free, such as CeraVe™ cream, Cetaphil™ cream, Aveeno™ cream) to all skin to improve and help prevent any dryness or irritation. You can also try over the counter 1% hydrocortisone OINTMENT twice daily on any areas that are especially red or itchy. The ointment version nearly always works better than the cream. If you tell me what city and state you live in, I might know a pediatric dermatologist you could try to see in your area. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      • Jeri C says:

        Oh, that would be absolutely wonderful! I live in the Kansas City area. I’m actually in a suburb north of KC on the Missouri side named Smithville. We’d be happy to make trips wherever. I just want him to feel better.

        I have Aveeno oatmeal bath from when I had hives, but that was years ago. I suppose that stuff probably goes bad at some point. I’ll get a fresh box, some moisturizer, and hydrocortisone ointment tomorrow morning. Thank you for the info! I hope it helps him feel more comfortable. I’ve been using moisturizer from my Proactiv kit. I was hoping it might help, based on suggestions here, but I’ve been afraid to use the cleanser because of the scarring issue.

        I did have one other question-could you tell me what I should do about his scalp for now? He has patches of MC on his scalp, and he has longish, curly hair. Could I put ointment on the patches? Should I take him to get a haircut and go from there? We’ve only cut it once. He looks so cute with his blonde curls that I haven’t done it, but if it would make his recovery easier, if do it in a heartbeat. Should I keep on with the baby shampoo? Anything else seems to sting. Should I be moisturizing his scalp?

        Thank you so much for helping me, and everyone here! I feel much better now, and crossing my fingers that you know someone up here I could make an appointment with. Thank you again! You’re a lifesaver.

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          There is a wonderful group of pediatric dermatologists at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO. In fact, that is where I trained in pediatric dermatology. I do believe, however, they will require a referral from your pediatrician for an appointment. If your pediatrician will not do this for you, there is a trained pediatric dermatologist in private practice in Overland Park named Dr. Allison Swanson.

          If the lesions on his scalp are not really bothering him, I would just continue to shampoo him with the shampoo that doesn’t sting for him and leave them alone for now. You certainly do not have to cut his hair if you do not want to. When you see the dermatologist, make sure they know he also has lesions on the scalp.

          Good luck!

  64. sam a says:

    doctor what do you think about sea water & sun ! for a child with a red MC and seemed to be irritated .. do you think it will make it worse and more irritated or it may help curing ..by the way the MC became red and swollen after applying duofilm (once) according to our dermatologist advise! ,, THANKS ALOT FOR YOU HELPFUL PLOG

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I couldn’t say whether exposure to sea water or sun would or would not specifically be helpful for the molluscum. If you are planning a trip to the beach, I would suggest you allow your child to engage in normal activities as usual. Just make sure to clean the area daily and monitor it for signs of resolution vs. signs of worsening or development of a secondary bacterial infection (increasing pain, swelling, redness, purulent drainage).

  65. Frank says:

    Hi Dr. Teresa, a friend of ours just gave us some “stuff” they recommended to get rid of MC that our younger son has (age 8). There is oregano, frankincense, and something called OnGuard. Have you ever heard of this type of method? Thank you

  66. SA says:

    after my molluscum had treated , how to know that its really gone ?? i mean if i didnt develop pumbs for how long i can say its healed ?
    my last nitrogyn session was before 26 days .. and since that day no lesions came on (thanks GOD) ,, can i say my night mare is over ??
    by the way from time to time i saw some pimples on and off that diagnosed by my derm its (contact dermatitis) any advise ?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I really can’t say how long it takes to be sure the lesions are gone and no new ones will appear. However, in my experience, it would be unusual to see new ones after you have been clear for at least a month. As for your other issue, I’m afraid I really can’t give advice when I am not sure what the problem is (“contact dermatitis” does not usually cause “pimples”).

      • SA says:

        ohh ,, do you think they may be new molluscum !! i already started to use steriod creme on them (upon medical advice) most of them faded , but not all , today i had a follow up with my derm . he checked my body and removed one pimple that he thought(NOT SURE) it may be a new molluscum , and said i am clear now ! but have to do check up again for a month ,
        do you think the steroid creme may make it worse or cause more molluscum to come !!

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          Unfortunately, these are questions I really cannot answer with any certainty. Theoretically, using a topical steroid on areas of molluscum might potentiate spread as the steroid can suppress local immune function. However, I sometimes see patients with severe molluscum dermatitis (an itchy eczematous rash) in areas of active molluscum and I do recommend application of topical steroids then and I do not usually see significant spread of the molluscum as a result.

  67. Jenn says:

    My 4yo has eczema and has had molloscum now for 4 months. Started out at a few lesions on her chin and within 8 weeks they were all over the front of her chin/neck and chest area. At first seem said no treatment. But because of how fast they were spreading including onto her cheeks I called back and they gave me the Tretinoin cream for once a day to each spot – about 30-40 spots. We are doing this at night then applying non steroid cream too the site in the morning. We have been doing this now for 4 weeks- more lesions seem to have appeared but the original ones are getting bigger, more red and angry looking. I don’t think any of them are infected, but they look horrible! The worst it has ever looked. I want to continue the tretinoin cream but I am unsure if this is how it’s suppose to look before it gets better or am I just making it worse?! Once the 30-40 turn red will her body naturally fight off these new ones or are we always going to be chasing these spots?! Also- have you heard of doing duct tape to the sites? I thought about putting that on after the tretinoin.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Most of the time, if they are getting big and red, they are about to go away. So what you are seeing is probably a good sign. I would hold off on the tretinoin on any of the lesions that are very inflamed. Wait a few days to see if they resolve. If they do not, then I would resume the tretinoin cream. I would not recommend applying duct tape over the tretinoin as the occlusion could cause a lot of local irritation. It can take awhile, but she will eventually stop getting new bumps and all the ones she has will resolve. Good luck!

  68. Curtis says:

    Hi Dr. Teresa, can MC spread via sweat? My son is not able to wrestle right now but we have a mat in our basement and him and I are going to practice some. There won’t be any contact between us but I’m sure there will be sweat. Can I get it from sweat or can his get worse due to sweat? Thanks

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Curtis,
      Molluscum are generally spread through skin to skin contact or skin contact with contaminated inanimate objects. Although the virus is not systemic and therefore is not present in sweat, it is possible for a wrestling mat to become contaminated with virus through direct contact with your son’s lesions. Then, theoretically, you could be exposed if your skin comes into contact with the viral particles on the mat.

      • Curtis says:

        Ok, sounds good. We don’t do anything that would allow his head to touch the mat so we should be good. Thanks again!

  69. rema says:

    doctor how can i distinguish the new small molluscum from (heat rash)? my daughter 3 yrs was treated (by popping in clinic) from the molluscum about month ago ( around three sessions , two weeks between each , and last session was one month ago) , and since that time i am examining her body daily and moisturising her with cetaphil cream ,also shower her wih cetaphel shower gel , but recently she has hundreds of small red pimples on her body (all under clothes) , i took her back to the dermatologist who said he is not sure if they are new molluscum or not , and we have to wait !
    , and because the weather here is very humid and hot and her body sweaten alot especialy at bed time ,, i thought (AND HOPE) they might be heat rash,,
    please doctor give me any advice or any hope , because im gonna loose my mind if all these are new molluscum !!

  70. Mimi M. says:

    I have recently seen bumps on my youngest son’s arms and legs he started off with a few but now he has a lot more. Its spreading all over his legs and arms he has some on his face as well. Could that be caused by an allergic reaction?

  71. Jordan says:

    Dr. Wright,

    I’m a 21 year old college student and pretty sure I contracted MC while studying abroad in Aisa (hotels is my guess), as my girlfriend didn’t and continues to still not have it (thank god). I started treatment with my derm in June with liquid nitrogen. Since I’m not a young kid, my pain tolerance is better and I just want these things gone, so I’ll do anything. Fast forward to November: just when I thought I was about to get my last 2-3 treated with liquid nitrogen, I have a breakout on my upper thigh to where my testicle runs into it. I’m pretty sure a bump on my testicle was present and it’s the reason for the breakout. I’m psychologically drained and want these things gone.

    I go back to the derm today, but is there ANYTHING I can do? Maybe ACV or Tea Tree Oil because I have a higher pain tolerance? I can’t handle this anymore. I know they’re harmless, but I’m going onto 7 months of having MC.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I would suggest you speak to your dermatologist about removing them via curettage (basically scraping them off). Good luck!

  72. Deana says:

    I was just wondering if after having beetlejuice applied should the blisters become about 1/2 inch in diameter and full of fluid?

  73. Elizabeth Bernbaum says:

    Hello, Dr. Wright,

    My son had beetle juice applied in the dermatologist’s office on Tuesday. We washed my son’s knee two hours after treatment. Blisters formed within hours, and one popped on its own shortly after forming. I do not recall instructions for what to do after the blistering occurs or after a blister pops. The dermatologist appointment ended with the removal of two moles, and I was focused on the post-procedure care for those areas. I just completely forgot about the molluscum. I called the office for instruction but did not hear back from them before the Thanksgiving holiday. If you check your replies, please advise: do I apply mupirocin on those areas too? Do I keep blisters covered? Do I keep popped blisters covered? Thank you!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Just keep the areas clean. You may apply Bactroban/Mupirocin twice daily to any open areas if you have that. Whether or not to cover the areas depends on where they are located and how bothersome they are, so that is really up to you.

  74. Peter says:

    Hi Dr Wright, I have followed this blog and had my son go to a dermatologist and had some MC froze. When is it technically not contagious? Does it die right away or not until the scab falls off? Thanks, you have helped many!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I think that is hard to determine for sure, but, once the active cores are gone and the scabs are healed, they should no longer be contagious.

  75. Julia says:

    My 2 year old had beetlejuice applied to approx 10 mc bumps yesterday in his diaper area. The dr stayed mostly on his waistband (5 bumps) one bump 2 inches below waistband and then a few on his upper thigh trying to avoid groin area. Large blisters formed within 2 hrs and we showered him early due to him crying and saying it hurt (used mostly water but blotted the three areas with a soap rag). I noticed new blisters this morning in areas the doctor didn’t apply the beetlejuice (two large blisters closer to his groin and one small blister on his penis where there had been no mc or contact with the beetlejuice) Should I be concerned? Is this the body fighting mc that was still hidden? Could the beetlejuice have spread in the shower or when the blisters popped? For the mc in the groin area not treated with beetlejuice what do you recommend to keep it from spreading. Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Most likely, some of the liquid spread to adjacent areas before it was completely dry. This is unfortunate, but does happen sometimes, and those blisters should heal without a problem as long as you keep them clean and keep an eye on them. Sometimes, when some of the bumps are treated, there is enough local inflammation to cause a reaction and resolution in bumps that were not directly treated. This may happen for your child. If the bumps in the groin area do not resolve, however, I often prescribe a mild tretinoin cream to apply sparingly at bedtime a few nights a week as tolerated. The main side effect for this is local redness/irritation. Good luck!

  76. Brittani says:

    I am pretty sure my 4 year old son has molloscum (around 16 lesions). We have a wellness appt with his pediatrician in a week . I am going to speak to her about referral to a derm. I have read all of the posts and am taking note on various treatment options so I can speak to her about them. One I have not seen mentioned is candida antigen immunotherapy. What is your opinion on this? Have you ever used this treatment? Thanks for any info! Brittani

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      We use candin injections sometimes for warts in older children, but I have not used them for molluscum. For warts, we typically give three sets of injections, spaced about a month apart. I generally do not choose this as a treatment for younger children because the shots are painful and this method, like all the others, is never a guaranteed cure for any one individual. Given that your child is 4, I think a less painful option would be preferable.

  77. Sasha says:

    Hi there!

    I personally had the MCV virus almost ten years ago towards the end of college. It was an emotional nightmare for me as I’m already anxiety ridden and felt this was like a scarlet letter keeping me from wanting to get in a bathing suit, get close to my boyfriend at the time etc. (I believe I contracted it in my ballet studio). It took about a year to resolve. As with many adults I’m sure, it has left me with permanent anxiety about getting reinfected. My handwashing and sanitizing and avoiding public places that might pose a risk has been an issue since. Recently, I’ve found out that my friends kids whom I love to be around and play with have it and now my anxiety about recontracting it is back ten fold. The thing is the dermatologist who treated me for it said that you gain immunity to it after you’ve had it much like the chicken pox but everything I read online is contrary to that. Can you offer any insight into the probability of reinfection? I don’t want this fear to dictate who’s kids I’m comfortable spending time with let alone if my own have it some day. Many thanks!!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although it is probably not totally impossible, it is very unlikely that you will become re-infected with molluscum. If you want to take extra precautions, I would try to avoid close skin to skin contact with the affected children and wash your hands frequently when you are spending time with them.

  78. Julia says:

    After being treated with beetlejuice my 2 yr old now has new spots that have formed around the original spots that blistered. We are supposed to back in 2 weeks but I am hesitant. Although the bettlejuice removed the original mc there are now more spots than before. Is it possible the beetlejuice caused more spots to form by pusihing the virus to the perimeter? Would you recommend a second dose of beetlejuice? Also I am due to have a new baby in a couple months, can an infant catch mc?

  79. Julia says:

    One more question… My daughter is having her birthday party at an indoor pool next week. Is it ok for my 2 yr old with mc to swim? He would have a swim diaper and trunks covering his mc so shouldn’t have contact with anyone.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Personally, I would not keep him from swimming just because he has molluscum, especially if the lesions can be adequately covered. However, you may already be aware that there are some data to suggest that the virus that causes molluscum may be transmitted via swimming pools. Certainly, he should not share towels with anyone and I recommend that, if possible, all children are rinsed well after swimming and then bathed at home as soon as possible.

  80. Lynn says:

    Hi! My daughter recently had a giant inflamed MC lesion that I thought might have a secondary bacterial infection. The pediatrician agreed it might be infected and prescribed antibiotics. For various reasons, my daughter could not take the antibiotics and after a couple of weeks, the inflammation went away on its own and the skin there is healing. My question is, if it wasn’t a bacterial infection, could this indicate an immune response to the MC? And if so, is it just an immune response to that particular lesion, or could this signal the beginning of an immune response to the whole virus? I’ve noticed a couple more lesions turning red and scabby since then, but the rest (and there are many!) don’t look any different. We’re supposed to start cryotherapy soon, but if her body is starting to fight the virus, I might want to wait a little longer. Thanks so much!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      What you describe is fairly common with molluscum. I think it is more often purely an inflammatory process and less likely to be a true secondary bacterial infection. And, yes, very often this may signal that the immune system is fighting the virus and more of the lesions will become inflamed and resolve. If you are seeing this, I agree that it may be worthwhile to hold off a bit longer before beginning treatment. You don’t say how old your daughter is, but I typically do not favor the use of cryotherapy for molluscum in younger children (especially if they have many lesions). It does hurt and it can promote permanent scarring.

  81. Gabriella says:

    Good day!

    Just a quick question.. How long does the virus live on clothing and surfaces?
    I am constantly disinfecting as much as I can and washing
    Towels and bedding in bleach and hot water, but I am concerned about clothing in which using hot water and/or bleach may damage the fabric, for example a sport jersey.. How can I properly disinfect these clothes from the virus? My child has several in the armpit region and they are too numerous to cover properly with bandages. Thank you so much!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It’s difficult to say for sure how long the virus can live on clothing and other surfaces and I have seen a variety of estimates for this. Some sources say it can live for up to 24 hours on moist surfaces. Washing clothing, towels, and bedding with hot water and detergent should be enough to clean them sufficiently.

  82. Sue says:

    Hi there Dr. Wright, Thank you for this blog, it has been extremely helpful. My 8 year old son has MC and had beetle juice put on by our dermatologist yesterday. He has them under his chin and on his neck. The Dr. only treated about a 1/3 of the big ones under his chin to see what his reaction would be before coming back for treating the rest. In the interim, she prescribed Aldera for the remaining spots. The ones treated have blistered and is starting to crust as expected. How do I treat the blisters? Do I just leave them alone? Wash them? Do I need to bandage them (especially when he gets back to school – I kept him home today to keep an eye on the blisters). When he does go back to school, can he play and run around or should he not sweat? Do I need to bandage them to go to school? I’m worried about the open sores getting infected by staph or something if they aren’t covered. But if they are covered, will his sweat during play be a problem? Thank you so much!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I think it should be fine for him to take a bath and I wouldn’t worry about that promoting spread of the lesions. Just don’t scrub the areas with a cloth or sponge and discourage him from picking at them in the water.

      For the blistered areas, I would wash them daily with gentle soap and water. If they are not painful, you do not need to do anything more to them. If they rupture and he has areas of open skin, I would still wash the areas daily, then apply plain Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment, and a clean bandage. At school, I would allow him to participate in his normal activities. If you are concerned about dirt and germs at school, it is fine to cover the areas with a bandage. I don’t think a bandage will cause a problem if he is active at school. Good luck! I hope they are all gone soon.

  83. Sue says:

    Also, is it ok or not ok to submerge the molluscum in a bath. How about after the beetle juice treatment? I see from previous posts that the oozing liquid from the blister is not contagious but what if the white dot is still there amongst the blister? Dr said they weren’t contagious after beetle juice treatment so I had my son take a bath but now I’m freaking out after reading about bathing children separately and avoiding warm pools. Is it going to spread all over his body now that the molluscum was submerged in warm bath water? Help!

  84. edward hernandez says:

    Teresa,

    Thank you for keeping your site open for Questions. My wife and i have 2 kids Shes 5 and hes 3. They both have it and we recently (3months or so)have been using the ACV remedy. I have read that some people are using the ACV. But my kids sa it burnn applied with cotton balls. Is at common? and my nxt queation is Should i only let them wear there daily clothes and pajammas once than wash due to spreading? And as for my last Q, you say to wash the the skin the next morning after ACV is applied that night prior? How? cold wash cloth or shower? Thanks agan for your.help

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I am not surprised they complain of burning with the vinegar. I do think it can be pretty irritating. If the treated areas look very inflamed (red, swollen), I would take a break for a day or two, until they calm down. Yes, I would launder clothing after one wear. As far as washing treated areas in the morning, I think that could be done with a soft cloth, small amount of gentle soap, and water.

  85. Sue says:

    Hello Dr. Wright, Thank you so much for your response. So the blisters are healing and I’m not so freaked out anymore :) I do have another question/concern. I know MC can vary in how they look. My son started out with many lesions which all looked pretty identical (raised bumps, completely white – not just the core). Some of those are the ones that were treated with cantharidin. Now he has a new patch just under the “old white bumps” which appears to be MC (with a magnifying glass) but they just look “rashy” and “blotchy” and without any white cores. He also has “new” MC with white cores but extremely tiny, on his nose – which wasn’t there before.

    So here’s my questions/concern: Did the cantharidin treatment which caused open lesions cause it to spread to this rashy area? Or perhaps the immune response from the cantharidin and/or Aldera bring out more MC to the surface, wanting to heal? What is the typical course for MC (treated or not)? Since I haven’t seen this “rashy” look before, I’m wondering if that’s an end stage or a beginning stage.

    Thank you again! You are truly a life saver!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I’m afraid I can’t really answer your question about the rash with any certainty. I do not think it is likely that the cantharidin treatment caused the lesions to spread. Most children with more than a few lesions may continue to develop some new crops after beginning treatment. As far as the “typical” course, that is very broad. Some children clear within a few weeks and others may struggle with molluscum for a couple of years or more. If they are driving you crazy, I think the best you can do is work on them with a combination of in-office and at-home treatments and take reasonable measures to decrease the risk of spreading. Good luck!

  86. Gabriella says:

    Thank you so much for your response and for this blog! Molluscum has certainly added to my laundry detail. One more quick question… I am afraid that the hot water will shrink some items, specifically sweaters and again the soccer jersey. So if the virus doesn’t live more than 24 hours, is it safe to say that if I hold off laundering those items for a few days that a cold water wash and dryer is ok and will not spread the virus to other clothing or even her body again? Say she wears something on Saturday and I wash it Wed but in cold water to prevent shrinking? I also add either vinegar or peroxide to the wash as well for a little disinfectant. All her clothes are bagged separately every day and put in her own hamper.. Excessive I know but trying to limit this spreading to other family members. All her clothing after they are dried on low heat are followed up on high heat to kill anything extra! Thank you so much! This site is a lifesaver! I am freaking out over this virus that has invaded our lives! Thank you again!!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I think what you are doing is probably fine as you are correct that the virus is unlikely to live for very long on clothing. Good luck!

  87. Amber says:

    Dear Dr. Wright,
    Hello! Thanks for taking time to keep this blog open. My child, age 10 has molluscum under the armpit… Several lesions that just keep spreading and are moving to her back and stomach. We have endured 3 sessions of having them burned off with liquid nitrogen. Although my child is tolerating the pain quite well and knock on wood has been healing nicely. The dr prescribed clindamycin phosphate topical lotion (1%) initially to use under the arms if needed for deodorant purposes. But now since it seems to be spreading more and the armpit area is dry and irritated, the Dr. Instructed me to use it every night under the arms as well as for a dry pimply spot on my child’s back. But everything I read about clindamycin says it causes dryness and can cause stomach upset. Is this really better than a different lotion such as Cetaphil? Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      You may be aware that the Clindamycin lotion is an antibiotic lotion. If it was given to use for armpit odor, I can only assume it was because the physician thought the odor might be related to bacterial overgrowth on the skin. If the molluscum are red/inflamed or appear to be slightly infected, this antibacterial lotion may be helpful. However, if they are not, there is certainly no need to use it there. I certainly would not recommend using it as a general moisturizer. Something like the Cetaphil you mentioned would be a good emollient to use for areas of dry skin (I prefer the cream, though). Hope that helps!

      • Amber says:

        Thank you so much! I think she prescribed it to use initially since my child isn’t able to wear deodorant right now due to where the molluscum are… I use an all natural deodorant on her but was worried about not being able to use anything. Now here is a question/dilemma that may make you chuckle but I am freaking out right at this very moment! We had our third nitrogen treatment exactly a week ago. 3 spots lower on my child’s side were red and inflamed and looked like the white head was there. I covered only those 3 with the very tiny circular spot bandaids. Well one bandaid fell off apparently between last night and this morning.. I have checked the pajamas, and checking bedding.. It’s hard to spot being so small of course but missing… And I’m freaking out that for one, did the bandage spot touch another part of her body infecting yet another region before mysteriously disappearing or did it find it’s way to another child and stick to them and then disappear? How contagious are these after a liquid nitrogen treatment and what’s the likelihood of this bandaid contaminating the rest of the house? I only used the bandaid to try and avoid that molluscum popping and spreading and look where it got me aaagghh! That small little bandaid could be anywhere! Only me!

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          I am sorry! I can sense how frustrated and upset you are. Really, you have excellent questions and concerns, but I’m not sure there is an absolute answer regarding how contagious they are after they are treated as it is theoretically possible that there is still some live virus present in the lesions until they are completely gone. Clearly, you are doing everything you can to take care of your daughter and get rid of the molluscum. They will go away with time. I would try not to worry about the Band-Aid situation, though, because it won’t contaminate your whole house. I sincerely hope they are all gone soon!

          • Amber says:

            Thank you! I am frustrated and it’s upset me more than it should! I have to keep this in perspective as there are worse things that we can be dealing with. Sorry but yet another question.. Can she get a rash from the clindamycin phosphate lotion? She woke up this am and that little white pimple spot on her back spread is red and itchy and it seems that wherever I have applied the lotion there are tiny little pimples around it. I have a call into the dr now but curious on your opinion. Anything I can put to stop the itch? I know hydacortisone cream may suppress her immunity there and the molluscum is under her arm and torso on that side and I worry about the spreading. And I still haven’t found the bandaid lol!! I have vacuumed and searched everywhere! Hopefully it fell off when she went to the bathroom and was flushed away :)

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          Of course it is possible that the clindamycin lotion could cause a rash, but I would not say this is a common side effect in my experience. If she has areas of itchy, irritated skin, I think it is fine to use a topical steroid (I prefer ointment) to calm them down. Although it is theoretically possible for a topical steroid to promote spread of the viral infection, I generally don’t see this occur. And there are times when the molluscum cause such a severe dermatitis that I really have to treat that before I can focus on treating the molluscum.

  88. jemma webster says:

    Hi there, I noticed these small white bumps in my pubic area in early December. They almost looked like stinging nettle bumps. A few got very sore and I went to the GP who gave me anti biotics for folliculitus. I was not convinced so went for an MOT at my local GUM clinic to make sure my partner or I hadn’t gotten anything we had not detected. My results came back fine but the nurse said it was molloscum. After getting very down with it I decided to do some research and decided to try ACV under plasters overnight. The original ones appear to be scabbed over and are quite sore as the skin is chapped but I am hoping this means they are healing. it has, however, brought a big crop out that is red, bumpy and itchy and looks like nappy rash. Is this normal? Does ACV draw any that hiding out with the treatments – therefore it is working? – and does this mean they are also going? I don’t want to continue putting ACV on them and risk making my skin sore if it isn’t necessary as they are actually clearing up. I feel so down with it and am meant to be going away for my birthday with my partner in a fortnight and just feel ugly. How long does a typical case of molloscum in the genital area last in an adult – I have seen stories of 12-18 months and want to cry! Many thanks for your help.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I’m sorry you are going through this. I understand how annoying and frustrating they are. Unfortunately, cases of molluscum may “typically” last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. However, if you are actively treating them, you are doing what you can to shorten your course. If the ACV has caused redness and irritation, I would discontinue treatment for at least a couple of days. It is not uncommon for molluscum to become very red, swollen, and inflamed when they are about to go away, so this may be a sign that you are nearing resolution. If the areas calm down and the bumps are still there, then I would go back to treating them. You could also consider seeing a dermatologist to discuss other treatment options, such as cryotherapy, curettage, or a prescription cream. Good luck!

  89. Sue says:

    Hi Dr. Wright, is it ok to swim or go in the hot tub with molluscum? Can it spread in the pool jacuzzi to my other kids? It seems so unfair and sad for my son to have to sit out. Thank you.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I hear you. Some studies have shown that molluscum can spread via water, particularly in warm environments. Therefore, if you ask me if it is possible for molluscum to spread this way, I have to say yes. However, I see children in my clinic regularly who bathe daily with siblings who have molluscum and some of those children never get molluscum. So, it is not really possible to say who will or will not get it through this possible exposure.

  90. Amber says:

    Hello again!
    The rash on her back is no longer as inflamed or itchy! Thank you for your quick response! This site is truly a lifesaver!! Yet another question as this virus spins my anxiety out of control! I did my child who has molluscum laundry today. I hand sanitized myself several times during the process. How well does hand sanitized kill the virus bc I am kicking myself now! My son fell and has a large cut on his side.. I sanitized my hands again twice before putting a large bandaid on it. I’m kicking myself for not washing any germs down the sink or wearing gloves before applying the bandaid. So I am freaking out I just somehow gave him molluscum. I took that bandaid off, applied neosporin with a glove, and then cleaned it further with alcohol.. Poor kid but trying to do damage control and kill molluscum that may have entered. I’m upset I didn’t use the glove in the 1st place bc they stick to the gloves. But I did sanitize 2times before applying the initial bandaid. It’s been over 12 hours since the clothes possibly infected with molluscum have been worn. Is he ok from this mother mistake I made with molluscum.. I know he can still get it since it’s in the house.. Just hate to think I did this as I take every single precaution, and this was lapse in judgement! Thank you :)

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Although it may be theoretically possible, I think it is very unlikely that you would have virus on your hands (from handling your child’s laundry) that you would pass to your other child’s wound. Most of the time, molluscum are spread via close (skin to skin) contact with intact lesions. It sounds like you are taking multiple precautions to avoid spread of the virus in your family. I generally advise that children avoid sleeping in the same bed and bathing together. Beyond that, I tell parents to try and keep the active areas covered with clothing, if possible, and to discourage picking/scratching at the lesions. I also emphasize regular and thorough handwashing for all family members, but especially the child with molluscum.

  91. MLMom says:

    Hi there. Not sure if there’s an answer to this…but if a couple of bumps start to get red and swollen, is that a sign of just those MC bumps going away, or the beginning of the virus clearing? I feel like this thing keeps spreading, but I do see couple shifting and I wonder if there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Thank you!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      When the bumps get red and swollen, that is often a sign that they are about to go away. Since this implies that immune cells are actively fighting the infection, it is a good sign that others may also begin to disappear as well. However, the overall length of time it takes for the infection to clear completely is highly variable and unpredictable.

  92. Alison says:

    Dear Dr.,

    My 7 year old son had a few molluscum last year on the backs of his legs. I brought him to the dermatologist and she scraped them off. After she scraped the first few he got more, but we kept bringing him back to get them scraped and they never turned into a full-blown patch. Then, my 3 year old daughter got them all over her body and we are still fighting them now nearly a year later. We think we we are on the verge of being done with them, thanks to the latest round of imiquimod. I noticed tonight that my son now has a few in the folds of his elbows and the backs of his legs again. We put a little imiquimod on them but I am thinking I should go back to the derm for scraping even though he finds it painful, since last time that kept it from getting really bad. But I am disappointed they have popped up again. What do you recommend? Thank you.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I really think this just depends on how anxious you are to get rid of them. Personally, I am not a big fan of scraping them off (curettage) because of the pain and increased risk of scarring. It is impossible to predict how many lesions he will develop or how long it will take for them to clear up. Some children only get a few, while others get a lot. Some children clear within a few weeks, while others struggle with them for months to years. If you have the Aldara cream, you could try that for awhile, then go back for a more aggressive treatment if they are beginning to spread or bother him more.

  93. rema says:

    my daughter is molluscum free for around 2 mnths (thanks GOD) ,,, but for me as a paranoid person :( tell this day i am still cheking her body every few days with magnifier! , i saw one vvvvery tiny pimple in her elbow and directly i took her to the derm to ask him , first he could not see it easily and said there is nothing ! , but using the magnifier he said its unlikly to be a new one , but it might be !!!!! or it might be folliculitis or anything else ! now its three weeks after that day , and again thnx GOD nthng new , but this tiny pimple is as it is( same tiny size) but doesnt fade , i dont want to seem silly and take her again to the derm :( but i dont want it to be a new molluscum and restart the nightmare again and since she is playing w her bro , i dont want him to be infected …
    if it was molluscum how long it takes to look 100%molluscum ?? in other words give me your point view , your advice ?? do you suggest removing it anyway!! or wait ?? how long should i wait ?? is it good or bad indication that this pimple is as it is after 3 weeks ?
    i know its too much questions but really i was suffering from molluscum since last june ,,
    thank you

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      If it is too small to be sure it is a molluscum, I would just wait and see what happens. It will either go away or it will get large enough to tell. There is no way to know how long it might take for either of these to happen. I would just keep an eye on it and try not to worry about it too much.

  94. Natalie says:

    My 5 year old and 2 year old have molluscum. I am nervous about using cantharadin, because the msds sheet makes it sound so dangerous. Do I need to worry about them touching the sores after the cantharadin has been applied? I worry they would touch them and then put their fingers in their mouth. And I know they have to leave it on for several hours. I also have a 1 month old and I worry if they touched her,etc.. I would love to use the treatment if safe since my 5 year old has had it for over a year.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I use a lot of cantharidin in my practice and I find it to be very safe and very effective. Although I would discourage touching the area after application of the liquid, it actually dries onto the skin and it won’t transfer to other areas (or other children) once it’s dry. I recommend leaving the Canthacur green formulation on the skin for 4 hours before washing the treated areas with soap and water. I do recommend against occluding the areas with tape after the liquid is applied as I have seen instances where the liquid spread under the tape and cause large areas of blistering.

  95. Amber says:

    Hello again!

    After our 4th treatment with liquid nitrogen my ten year old is still battling molluscum. After our last visit the PA recommended we see the dr in the office. The remaining lesions are very small and new ones just keep popping up. We do not see the actual doctor for yet another month and I am just beside myself. The PA said that because of the area .. They are under her arm and down side of her trunk , but a few on her back and stomach, that treatment options are limited due to the sensitivity of the area . She does not recommend Cantharidin there, but my own dermatologist in another practice uses this method and we have an appointment to see him in 2 weeks as a second opinion. I don’t know what to do.. I’ve read some negative reviews about cantharidin and she is extremely sensitive to everything… ie a rash from Clindamyicin, bandaids etc..also broke out in a rash from black elderberry I gave her for immune support. My question is do you recommend the cantharidin after so many nitrogen freezings? She handles the nitrogen procedure well it’s just that the PA who was treating her felt the remaining ones and new ones were too numerous and too small. Also she recommends moisturizing as dry areas tend to spread the molluscum. I used Neosporin on the area bc some lesions were red and crusty and now just using Vanicream but I feel worry it will make them worse by spreading them and keeping them moist. I use qtips to apply but still..what would you recommend in this situation? I’m not sure which direction to turn right now with 2 doctors with different treatment philosophies! Thank you so much again for taking somuch time with this blog!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I would not apply Neosporin to the inflamed areas as there is a high incidence of contact allergy to the neomycin in Neosporin. More than likely, the lesions that are red and inflamed are about to resolve. It is true that the virus can spread more easily on dry skin and I definitely recommend daily moisturizing to improve dryness of the skin. I wouldn’t worry too much about spreading the infection by applying a moisturizer to the areas. I use a lot of cantharidin and it is very rare that we hear from a patient who is having any significant problem with it. I don’t use it on the face, genitalia, or between the buttocks. I do use it under the arms, but I am cautious with it if there are a lot of small lesions clustered together. If you can’t easily apply the liquid directly to individual lesions, it might not be the best choice for that area. In those situations, I often choose to use a low potency prescription topical tretinoin cream which can be applied to the area sparingly a few nights per week. I don’t think the fact that she has already been treated with cryotherapy should prevent treating the remaining lesions with another form of therapy.

  96. Sue says:

    Hi Dr. Wright, what are your thoughts in emuaid? Also, it seems from previous posts that it’s best to keep skin moist with emoliants but for my son, it seems better to dry the lesions up. Keeping them moist seems to spread them. Im confused and don’t know what to do. He’s had beetle juice done on some. That skin is trying to heal so I’m trying to keep moisteriZed but it’s near other lesions and when the cetaphil touches them, they seem to get whiter. Thoughts?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I’m afraid I have no personal experience with emuaid, so I can’t offer any advice on that. I definitely sense your frustration and confusion about what is best for the skin. The virus can definitely spread more easily on dry skin, so it is advisable to keep the skin well-moisturized. If you feel that moisturizing the affected areas is promoting spread of the infection, I would just apply moisturizer very lightly there or try to go around the affected areas as much as possible. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution. In my experience, regular application of moisturizer seems to be more helpful than harmful. Good luck!

  97. Jaime says:

    Hi Dr.Wrigt,

    First I wanted to thank you so so much for your blog and for taking to time to actually read and respond to the posts.

    My 8 month old son recently saw his pediatrician who examined the rash on his back and thought it was probably MC. He referred to a dermatologist and we are currently waiting for an appointment. He’s got about 20 bumps on his back and I’m very concerned about them spread if it is indeed MC. He also has eczema on his arms and legs. What do you suggest I do until I see the derm? We bathe his every single night before bed, do you recommend I reduce the amount of bathing? Would you be willing to look at a picture of his rash and give your opinion on whether of not you think it’s MC? I purchased a colloidal silver spray and was planning on spraying his rash with it as I read that it helps heal them, do you recommend this as a temporary treatment? I thought that it was uncommon for children under 12 months to contract MC, have you seen it many times in infants? Thanks is advance for your time.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, I would be unable to view photographs of your child through this blog. However, I do recommend that you continue to bathe and moisturize him daily. I would also continue to treat his eczema as you normally would. I am not familiar with the use of colloidal silver spray, so I cannot advise you regarding that product. And, yes, it is less common to see molluscum in infants, but it is certainly not unheard of. Good luck!

  98. Lesley says:

    Dr Wright,
    I echo the comments of many others on this blog. I have found more comfort in your Q+A than any other search I have found over the past 6+ months. My 5 yo son has been battling this for about 9-10 months. The initial spots are gone, but he still has a nice patch on his trunk. Many of them have gotten red and turned into a white-head. At first I thought they were infected and even had him treated. I was trying to get the “stuff” out from the white head. I am now learning this seems to be normal and I should leave them alone. They do get inflamed under the skin, which has worried me. He has one spot that is one his waistline where his pants hit. It red, slightly sore and inflamed under the skin. It almost looks like a mosquito bite. It has not gotten a white head like the others. He has so many, I have lost track of where each one was before it started to “flare.” Is this a normal behavior of a MC before it goes away? It is not like some of the others on his body before they went away. Our pediatrician says to ride it out and they will go away. I struggle with when I should be concerned over an infection versus this condition he has (MC) that does “strange” things when a lesion is about to go away. Thank you again for all your help.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Many times, when they are about to go away, the bumps will become very inflamed with redness and swelling. This is usually a good sign and not an indication of secondary bacterial infection. If there is true bacterial infection, you will most likely see progressive swelling, redness, and purulent drainage, along with increasing tenderness/pain. I know it can be hard to tell sometimes. When you are not sure, it is probably best to have your pediatrician take a look and decide. However, I do think inflamed molluscum are often over diagnosed as “infected” and treated with unnecessary oral antibiotics. If your child does not seem to very uncomfortable, it is probably okay to watch the areas for a day or two and see if they begin to improve or if they appear to be worsening.

      • Lesley says:

        The spot I am talking about does not seem to be getting worse. Maybe better, but very slowly if it is. Can it take a couple weeks for a particular molluscum to go away once inflamed? It looks like it has a few spots of dry skin on it, so I am going to put something on his skin for the dryness. It does not seem to bother him. It is not sore to the touch. Just big and red and puffy. Does not seem to be coming to a head or anything of that nature. It is just red, relatively big, and taking its slow time to go away.

  99. Anamika says:

    Hello Doctor, my 4 year old daughter has mollascum on her face and some on her neck. It started as a small bump on her face near the ear and then 2 small ones on her neck. But now they have increased in number . I am more concerned coz it’s on her face and every day I see many more small bumps . I have been applying zymaderm for 2 weeks now and I have dermt appt after 2 weeks . I have been religiously applying zymaderm , she also has chicken skin , which makes e skin very dry . The new bumps are small with small white head , i really don’t know if zymaderm is working or not . Do I reschedule the dermatologist appointment and make it earlier so that I can stop the increase in numbers. Also I apply aquafor 2 times a day , although I do not rub, does it spread if gently apply it on her skin. I change the pillow covers n towels everyday . I also use diluted apple cider vinegar q-tips on all her spots for 15 minutes before she takes bath .. I am very careful abt drying her and use only tissues for her face . After doing all this , I still do not see any difference ..her pediatrician was very cool abt it, and said the dermt doc will remove every thing and she also has some on her eyes , he said the eye doctor will remove all of it, is this that easy ? Any help appreciated

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Obviously, I do not know what treatment approach your dermatologist will recommend. However, I personally do not advocate for physical removal or destruction of molluscum very often (particularly on the face and delicate areas). This can be painful/traumatic for younger children and can promote permanent scarring. I usually take a more conservative approach on the face and use topical creams, such as low strength prescription tretinoin. This may take awhile to work, and can cause local irritation, but is generally regarded as safe. I would recommend that you continue to moisturize her dry skin regularly and don’t worry too much about spreading the infection by doing this. I think it is more likely for the virus to spread on skin that is dry and irritated than for you to spread it by gently applying an emollient to the skin. I have had some parents tell me that Zymaderm worked for their child and others tell me they have gotten good results with apple cider vinegar. From a medical standpoint, these are not treatments that I can recommend based on clinical studies and data. However, anecdotally, they appear to be relatively harmless and they may help in some cases. The bottom line is that most treatments take time to work, the course is unpredictable, and no treatment is guaranteed to work for every child, every time. I recommend choosing something that is not causing your child a lot of discomfort/distress and using it consistently. Also, try to discourage picking/scratching as much as possible, keep affected areas covered with clothing when feasible, and encourage regular, thorough handwashing.

  100. amber says:

    Hello again Dr. Wright!
    Again thank you so much for keeping up this blog! It truly is a sanity saver and gives me more solace and any other website! We just got our second opinion today with my dermatologist that I have seen for years. He seconded the opinion that there were way too many lesions to treat with the cantharidin. He prescribed immoquimod Cream to use every day on the affected areas. Again most of her lesions are all under her armpit down the side of her trunk. She also has quite a bit of dermatitis in the area. I know the cream stimulates the immune reaction to help combat the virus but are there any major side effects to doing this? I Suffer from an autoimmune disorder and I would hate for this to cause some sort of reaction in her. Also the physician assistant that we were seeing was against using the cream in the armpit region because of the sensitivity of the area. I’m curious about your thoughts? also weird question… Is this virus really that contagious by just touching an affected area and then touching a clear area? Just wondering because this doctor looked at my daughters affected area and then touch her nose when I asked him to look at something on her nose. Although I did Wash her when we got in the car how apt is she to get a molluscum lesion on her nose or on her other armpit where he looked afterwards? I know he’s a doctor I should trust his judgment but it still made me a little nervous! I for one and constantly washing my hands and disinfecting in this house! Again thank you so much!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I used to prescribe Imiquimod quite a bit for molluscum, but it is very expensive and it is generally not well-covered by insurance. Also, I became aware of clinical research data suggesting that it was probably not as effective as we initially thought. Therefore, I just didn’t feel justified in asking a family to pay several hundred dollars out of pocket for a treatment that might be marginally helpful at best. If you have it, I think it is fine to try. I have used it extensively on sensitive areas, such as the face and private areas, and have rarely seen any significant side effects. It can be pretty irritating, especially on delicate areas, so it is important to use it very sparingly, and I typically recommend initially using it only 3 or 4 nights per week to see how well the child is tolerating it before attempting to increase to nightly application. As for your second question about the ease of spread, that is somewhat difficult to answer with certainty. However, I don’t think you should worry too much as it probably takes a bit more vigorous and direct contact to promote spread of the infection.

      • Amber says:

        Thank you. I have one more question hopefully my last! Thank you for being so patient with me and my anxiety. Today I found a bump on my inner thigh.. Flesh colored and now everything to me looks like molluscum! It was small and round like a pimple but I felt it as I was applying moisturizer. My panic got the best of me and I squeezed it so hard.. I know not to do this with molluscum but in panic everything went out the door! No pus or anything came out at all but it stArted to bleed out one side after I tried to pick at it.. Again I know this is not what you are supposed to do! It looked like I was forcing it to a head so again I stupidly sterilized a pin and tried to dig out whatever was there. Sorry for the gory details here but whatever it was gave me a fight. There was bleeding and I now have a hole there as whatever it was was I had to rip the skin there. When I looked with a magnifier it looked like a little white dot was in center but no matter what it was firmly attached. I speared the skin again but hard to say what it was as it was bloody. I’m not sure what it was as it was very hard to tell. I ended up having to remove that piece with tweezers and it felt like it was attached to my skin. So I’m left wondering if it was molluscum as it wasn’t the experience of extracting a white hard core as everyone describes? What else could it have been? And although I tried to wear gloves for the majority of my so called surgery my anxiety is thru the roof that I spread the virus. Does Lysol and Clorox wipes sanitize this? I have washed my hands, purelled and wiped with Lysol wipes etc my hands and everything I may have touched but worried if it was a molluscum core what I may have infected. Should I use a bleach solution as well? Ugh I just want this virus out of my house! Again, sorry to keep asking so many questions. I wish I had just waited to see what this bump developed into but hindsight is 20/20.

  101. Jen Farley says:

    Hi Dr. Wright,

    We have been battling mulluscum on my daughters face for over 4 months now. Her main crop on her chin has made its way out after applying imiquiod cream and retin a alernating. Since then, a couple more have cropped up by her eyes and nose. They are very small and you can’t really see them unless you look very carefully under a light. My question is, should I go after these new ones as aggressively as the original ones. I have read that sometimes very small baby ones will appear and go away as the virus is making its way out so I didn’t know if it is worth the irritation to her skin. Any help would be beneficial. I hate this stuff :(
    She is also on cimentadine 2 times per day. I also use cerave and hydrocortisone on red areas.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to your question. If you can barely see them, I would probably leave them alone and watch them for awhile. You can use the topical medications there if you are very careful and only apply them sparingly, but the skin around the eyes is obviously very delicate and prone to more significant irritation. Plus, these creams can be quite irritating if the child rubs them into the eyes. I would give it some time to see if they go away on their own, especially if you have had resolution of some of the others. Good luck!

  102. Amie Fisher says:

    Thank you for taking time to answer these questions! I have read through but just wanted to ask a little more specific to my daughter’s symptoms. She is 4 years old and has a large wart on her thigh. About months ago we saw her Dr. who was surprised at the size and that it was all alone and not a cluster. But because it was getting milky or darker she said it was ‘dying out’ on it’s own and to not touch it, just wait. We have since moved, but yesterday I noticed a black spot on it and tonight before bed it looks like it popped and is black on top…and the area around the wart is red. She says it doesn’t hurt but I have never seen any of this before. I thought maybe she scraped it at the pool or something but she is very careful not to mess with it. Can they pop like that? Is it drying out? I didn’t want to rush her to the Dr. if it’s going away, but didn’t want it to turn into infection.

    Thanks again!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      If it doesn’t hurt, I would just keep an eye on it for now. It is probably going away. You refer to it as a “wart”. If it was a molluscum bump, they can definitely get red and irritated sometimes, especially when they are going away. If the redness spreads, or the area becomes painful, or develops purulent drainage, then you should have her evaluated by a doctor for possible infection.

      • Amie Fisher says:

        Thank you so much! It is so nice of you to answer questions for us worried moms! I really appreciate the feedback.

  103. Shelley says:

    Dr. Wright,

    We have been battling this horrible virus for over a year now. My daughter is 9 and is emotionally devastated by it. She had “hives” all over her body and after many blood tests and 4 doctors who could not figure out what was causing the hives I know realize they are a reaction to the Molluscum. She now has clusters of 50 or more Molluscum behind both knees and on her buttocks. What are your thoughts on applying alcohol directly to the Molluscum to get rid of them? Also what about Veregen?

    Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I personally would not recommend using alcohol directly on the areas as I think this will cause a lot of discomfort and is not likely to be very helpful. As Veregen is currently approved only for treatment of genital warts and is very expensive, I do not have any personal experience with its use for molluscum. Has your daughter been treated with cantharidin (blister beetle juice) or have you been given any other topical prescription medications (such as tretinoin or imiquimod)?

      • Shelley says:

        Yes I have tried the beetle juice, tretinoin, zymaderm, and apple cider vinegar. I have actually scheduled an appointment to bring her in to see you but unfortunately you have no availability until the end of this month. So we are waiting very patiently to see you :)
        What are your thoughts on giving her Tagamet?

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          I can’t promise that it will help, but I also don’t think it will hurt to try. Assuming your child is otherwise healthy, has no drug allergies, and takes no other medications on a daily or regular basis, cimetidine (tagamet) is generally quite safe and has a low side effect profile. You are probably aware that it is not FDA approved for the treatment of molluscum in children.

  104. Sue says:

    Hi there Dr.
    It seems we are making progress with OTC
    Acne cream with 2%salisylic acid (sp?). We are also applying emuaid as a calming cream for surrounding skin. The lesions are turning red as I’ve seen before when ready to heal. Some are typically turning red with a black ring around the center of the white core and then
    Vanishing. Others are:
    1) turning red, then turning puffy/swollen/soggy looking
    And some of the sticky white is sticking out.
    2) and other lesions are turning red, looking dry and a hard yellow thing is sticking out.

    In either of the scenarios above, I’m worried about spreading since the inside whether white and sticky or hard and yellow is sticking out. Do I just wipe away the white gooey stuff? Do I pull out the hard yellow thing? Because the lesions are on my son’s neck, they get sweaty especially when he’s sleeping. I don’t know of that’s what’s causing some of the lesions to get soggy or if it’s the emuaid cream or just a part of the healing process. I just don’t know what to do about the stuff sticking out. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you so much – you have been a life saver! Its such a frustrating thing :(

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I wouldn’t scrub the areas too hard or pull anything out of them. Just cleanse the areas gently with plain soap and water on a daily basis. If you like, you may apply an antibacterial ointment and keep the areas covered with a bandage to protect them while they heal.

  105. mom says:

    hi dr,
    my derm, and most websites said that being molluscum free for two-three months means that the body beated the virus and its cured , while in my daughter case after suffering and treatnig molluscum for months she became molluscum-free for up to 5 months but after these 5 months a new lesion popped in the same area of the old ones (we again removed it but by peircing this time ) !!!!!! actually i was shocked because i thought its over , and i am sure it is not a new infection because the new lesion was exactly in the same area as i said ,, a freind told me that this is happened because this virus stays in the body and never leaves !!!!!!! and appear once the body immune weekend by a disease or any reason , is it right ???? esp. my daughter was sick and having fever the days prior to the new lesion !! if this is true ill loose my mind :(
    and again how long do i have to wait to be sure she is totally cured ?? a year !
    i know it’s too much questions by really i can’t find a reason for this new to popped and also i am a fraid from more and more to popp after being free for long time !! really i am so sad and feel it will never end ..
    my last question what do you think about tagamet for children to stop any new lesions from popping, or any specefic vitamines do you recommend ?
    your help is really appreciated ,

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I do not think there is any evidence that Tagamet or any other oral medication can prevent molluscum. While it is not true that the virus that causes molluscum stays in the body forever, it can take some time for the infection to clear completely. I wish I could answer your question about how long it will take before your daughter is no longer experiencing outbreaks, but there is really no way to answer that with any certainty. I would just discourage scratching/picking at any bumps that look suspicious.

  106. Jimmy Johns says:

    My Choice is Anti-Aging Collagen Cream it is really good using it for more than five years now. Best wishes…

  107. Jana says:

    My son has these and we have been battling it for a while. I am pretty positive he got it from using borrowed kick boards on the swim team. I am going to try the Proactive treatment starting tonight, we have some at home luckily!

    I have heard the referral of beetle juiced brought up quite frequently for treatment. PLEASE do research before using this stuff on your child. It works, but the blisters are horrible, scar, and take a long time to heal. My older son had several warts on one of his hands a few years ago and was treated with this stuff. I was about ready to sue the doctor with the amount of damage it did to my son’s hand – both physically and mentally. The blisters were huge, painful, and 4 years later his has nasty scars. I feel so bad for the mom who said the doctor used it on her child’s face, I so know where you come from in your anger! I was not prepared for this treatment (had never heard of it), and trusted the doctor who said it was “natural”.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      When used correctly, “blister beetle” juice (i.e., cantharidin) is very safe and should not cause permanent scarring. I am sure I have used it on hundreds of children at this point in my career. To my knowledge, none have had any significant problems or scarring related to its use. I am sorry for the experience you and your child had, but I suspect there was something unusual about the preparation or method used that caused this situation. For instance, they may have occluded it with tape, which I do not recommend, or used too much, or instructed you to leave it on too long, etc. There are many variables that could affect your overall experience with this medication and it should only be used by an experienced provider.

  108. Amber says:

    Hello! What are your recommendations in regards to swimming with molluscum? After a harsh winter here in the Northeast my child cannot wait for summer and we are finally putting in a pool this year. I have received mixed information and opinions on swimming with molluscum. My child has it under her arm, side of trunk, and upper arm, with a few on the inner elbow. We are 4 plus months into the battle and have tried cryotherapy and now are using differin nightly. I also have 2 other children and am trying so hard to keep the rest if the family unaffected by this horrible virus! While I find it so unfair and heartbreaking to have to exclude my poor 11 year old from the joys of swimming, I also fear that it will spread to my other 2 children or myself or husband. As long as she wears a swim shirt, is she ok to swim? I know not to have them share towels and now even kick boards etc but will this spread in water? I’m praying daily (sometimes several times a day) that this goes away not only for us but everyone on here! Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Alas, there is no way to answer your question with certainty. I personally do not recommend that children refrain from swimming when they have molluscum, but I cannot guarantee you there is no chance of it spreading via a pool. Wearing a swim shirt will probably help reduce this risk at least somewhat. I would just let them have fun and make sure your other children bathe/shower after swimming.

  109. Richard says:

    What are the signs that Molloscum is going away?After 9 months of having molluscum without these symptoms, is an itchy, red and swollen area a sign of infection or an immune response? They are scabbing in certain parts. Will they fall of without danger of further infection of the MC virus? or should they be bandaged?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      When the bumps are red, swollen, or scabbed, that is usually a sign that they are going away. If there is increasing redness, swelling, pain, or purulent drainage, those may be signs of a secondary bacterial infection, and the child should be evaluated by a physician. It is impossible to know if they are still contagious as they are resolving. I think all you can do is try and keep your child from scratching/picking at the areas and keep them covered with clothing (as best you can) if your child is in close contact with other children.

  110. Amber says:

    Good morning!
    The battle continues and I am in a new quandary almost daily as to what to do and how to proceed with my daughter’s treatment!! What do I do when there is a white “thing” sticking out of a lesion.. Is it the core coming out? This has happened several times over the course of the treatment and mostly I have left them alone. And then they are suddenly gone, but it looks as if the lesion has bled a little bit. But is this promoting the spread, as we keep getting new ones? My daughters molluscum is under her armpit, and they are numerous as well as clustered together, so that putting Band-Aids there to catch the Cores is not feasible. On two occasions I have removed the little white thing sticking out, but this process makes me nervous as I know the core is highly contagious and I fear spreading it more on her and myself. What are your thoughts and what is the right thing to do? Do I remove the little white thing sticking out or do I let it sit there and fall off on its own? But in leaving it there is it spreading the virus further onto another part of her body for example if she is sleeping and it falls off and she’s rolling around on it, or is in her bed or falls off to the floor etc. possibly infecting others as well? for example last night I applied the Differin cream to her, and I noticed a tiny little white thing sticking out of one of the lesions. Since it was right at the corner of her armpit I didn’t feel that I could get a good grip on it wearing gloves, so I left it alone. But this morning the little white thing is missing and instead there is like a little blood spot. So if this was indeed the core and it fell off, is it going to spread to another part of her body as she rolled around and slept on it? Or did it fall off on my floor or possibly on my couch and is waiting to attach itself to us lol!! I feel like we take one step forward, two steps back! Your advice is appreciated!! Thank you!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I think it is best to leave the white cores alone and let them come out on their own if they will. I understand your concern that they may be capable of spreading the infection, but there is really no way to know this for sure. I know they are driving you crazy, but all you can really do is treat the areas as tolerated and take reasonable steps to decrease risk of spread (e.g., discouraging picking, keeping areas covered with clothing if possible, keeping bedding and towels clean, etc.). I don’t know how long it will take, but I know they will resolve eventually. Hang in there!

  111. Jen Scott says:

    We dealt with my son’s Mulluscum for several months, but I am happy to tell you what worked for us. Here’s a recap of our trials and tribulations.
    We discovered a few tiny bumps under his chin at the end of the summer and didn’t think very much of it, but they didn’t go away on their own after several weeks. Our pediatrician told us it was probably Mulluscum and to let nature run its course, they would disappear on their own, but it could take a few more months. After we noticed more bumps on his legs and arms, we took him to a dermatologist. To make a long story short, this particular dermatologists prescriptions were not helpful. She prescribed Differin the first go around and another type of cream with retinol the second go around. These products dried his skin and the mulluscum continued to spread. My son has always had fairly dry skin since he was a baby, so I’m guessing this is why the mulluscum spread so easily. We tried to keep him moisturized and used mild soap and did massive amounts of laundry so that the virus wouldn’t spread.
    I decided to get a second opinion because my son was miserable and it was starting to spread from his chin to his cheeks. Luckily he was able to keep the other bumps covered with long sleeves and pants. I also did quite a bit of research on the web and sat up one night reading this whole thread.
    I came across the website for EmuAide the night before our derm appointment. All of the testimonials were very convincing and I made up my mind that I was probably going to try it if the dermatologist thought it would be okay. We visited her the next day and because his case looked so severe, she prescribed an oral medication for him. She stated that she didn’t like to keep her patients on the medication for extended periods of time as it can be unhealthy for the liver, but thought this would help keep the virus from spreading. I also told her about the emuaide and she said it couldn’t hurt to try it.
    My son started taking Griseofulvin in March and the emuaide arrived in the mail a few days after he started the oral treatment. Within days we started to notice a difference and now his Mulluscum is gone. I’m telling you this story because if you’re frustrated, it is worth asking your doctor about the oral medication. I’m not sure if the emuaidemax would have gotten rid of the problem on it’s own, but it has helped his skin remarkably. For the first time, he has soft smooth skin with no little bumps (possibly dermatitis). If he gets another flare up, I’m going to treat it with the emuaide first.
    This is what worked for my son and I’m not sure if it would work for everyone. I just wanted to share my story. I know how frustrating it was for our family. I hope other families out there will find some relief.

  112. Phil Russo says:

    Can you talk about the pro’s and con’s of laser treatment. I read that it doesn’t cure the virus but may get rid of some of the bumps. I think this can help reduce the spreading. I am looking forward to your response.

  113. Phil Russo says:

    Can you talk about the pro’s and con’s of laser treatment. I read that it doesn’t cure the virus but may get rid of some of the bumps. I think this can help reduce the spreading. This if for my 9 year old son. He has 50 or so bumps on the inside of his legs by his knees, some on his elbows, and one or two on his eyelid. I am looking forward to your response.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      There are many types of lasers, but I am not aware that any type of laser treatment is a proven effective therapy for molluscum. I do not recommend that.

  114. MLMom says:

    Hi, thanks for this great site! I’m confused by what’s going on with my daughter’s molluscum. We’ve been having it frozen in patches. I noticed that a couple on her arm, which we hadn’t treated, had gone red and inflamed. Then my daughter went out of town for a week, and when she returned, all of the ones on that arm (probably a couple dozen) were red with scabs in the middle. She also has inflamed, red, angry molluscum in various other untreated areas, with more getting red and inflamed each day I look (although some are still just business as usual, white and pearly). The red, inflamed bumps don’t seem to be disappearing, although she is a slow healer in general. Should I freeze those areas where everything is red and scabby? Or do you think her body is fighting those and I should let the situation play out? Our dermatologist isn’t giving us any real answers…he says it could be an immune response, or she could be scratching (although that would be some widespread, intense scratching). Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I would not freeze the ones that are inflamed as this is generally a sign that they are close to resolving. If the inflammation subsides and the waxy molluscum core is still present, then it would be okay to resume your treatment.

      • MLMom says:

        Hi, thank you for the response. It’s very strange to me that so many of the lesions are red, scabby and extremely inflamed…yet others are unchanged and I found what looks like a new batch under her butt cheek. Our dermatologist had said that when the immune response kicks in, all lesions clear at once. Is this always the case, or do they sometimes clear over a period of time? Also, if she’s getting new ones, does this mean her body has not recognized the virus? Does an immune response sometimes cause any that were going to come out to rise to the surface? Her skin looks absolutely crazy right now, with giant red, angry molluscum…I’m so confused! Thanks again!

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          Sometimes, it does seem that all the lesions flare up and clear within a short period of time. Other times, this happens to only one or a few at a time and it takes longer to achieve complete clearance. If she’s getting new ones, her body is probably still working on building an immune response to the virus. I don’t think the immune response causes new lesions to appear. It sounds like she is having some immune response to at least some of her molluscum and that is certainly a positive step in the right direction. Good luck!

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  116. Julia says:

    My 3 year old has been battling molluscum now for 6 months. Recently some are getting big and red with the white core sticking out. I just had a baby and am anxious of this nasty virus spreading. Both our pediatrician and dermatologist say it is mostly spread by direct skin to skin contact and I shouldn’t worry. Here is an example from this week….If my son touches his spots and then touches an item like a pacifier before handing it to the baby do I need to be worried about my baby catching it? Is cleaning the pacifier sufficient or should it be thrown away?Can molluscum grow in your mouth? Also do you believe that it only lives on clothing and surface of items for 24 hours? I feel like I am constantly worrying about this virus spreading!

  117. Ann says:

    My daughter has about 10 molluscum. 5 are irritated and look close to healing. The other 5 are tiny. I have noticed that most of her torso, legs, arms and buttocks are covered in tiny goosebumps with a few looking like early molluscum. I have read that this is possibly beginning molluscum. If they are she will have 100s of molluscum ! Do you see this kind of rash as beginning molluscum or associated with molluscum ? I’m starting to worry she will be completely covered!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      What you are noticing is probably just follicular prominence and dry skin. I don’t think each of those bumps will become a molluscum. Do keep her well-moisturized, though, as the molluscum virus can spread more easily on dry skin.

  118. Teresa says:

    I run a daycare and one of the kids have this, he proceeded to show one of the other mothers these bumps he has, so I told this mother about and she was upset that her child could also get these. I guess I would be also, it’s not like a cold this can take up to 1-4 yrs to get rid of, what should I do???

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      This is a difficult situation, but I am a firm believer that children should not be excluded from daycare or school because they have molluscum. If possible, the molluscum should be covered with clothing or a clean bandage to prevent the child from picking at them and decrease the possibility of direct skin to skin contact of the affected area with another child. All children should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently. Shared toys should be sanitized regularly. Parents should be reassured that this is a common viral condition of childhood, that you are taking steps to minimize the possibility of spread, and that this virus is extremely unlikely to cause any serious medical problems.

  119. MLMom says:

    Hi, about a month ago most of the molluscum lesions on my daughter’s arm went red and scabby. I’m concerned that most of the scabs are still there and haven’t fallen off. Her arm looks so red and scabby. Is there anything I can do to help the healing process? I’m assuming she shouldn’t pick at the scabs. Is it normal for scabs to remain for so long? Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Just keep her skin clean and well-moisturized with a gentle, bland emollient (plain Vaseline ointment works well). Make sure she doesn’t pick or scratch at them because this will obviously impede the healing process.

  120. Mel says:

    My son has had 1 molluscum contagiou on his face . the lesion after couple months ontop skin healed but he is left with a moveable baked bean size hard swelling under the skin directly below where it was ( Central pore still exists) . When he squeezed in tonight only blood cane out of the central spot which still exists . It is sore to touch but not red or inflamed. Been present for couple months after healing of original mollusc. Mentioned it to do doctor who said it was most likely part of healing process but has been present for a long time. Should I return and what do you think it is?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Obviously, I can’t be sure without seeing it. He may just have residual inflammation or a small inclusion cyst. These generally improve over time, but this can sometimes take months. I would discourage squeezing or picking and give it more time. If it is not improving or it is getting worse, I would ask your doctor for a dermatology referral.

  121. Caroline says:

    My 11 month old daughter has had them on her arms and stomach since she was 7 months old. Doctor tried silver nitrate and nothing happened, and we did 12 treatments of Aldara which seemed to get rid of them on her right arm, but the ones on her stomach and a few on her left arm are still there. I’m trying benzoyl peroxide now – this is day 2 so far. Haven’t noticed any changes yet but I understand that maybe it can take a week or two to see a difference? Should I go back to the doctor and try the beetle juice instead? It’s summer time now and my baby is always in long sleeves and I just want to be rid of this already! Thank you, I really appreciate that you take the time to respond to these comments!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I think it can take several weeks to see results with topicals like Imiquimod or benxoyl peroxide. If you want faster results, having them treated with cantharidin is probably the way to go. It is not always 100% effective, and may take several treatments, but most children tolerate it very well and it is usually pretty effective. Good luck!

  122. Janelle Dreier says:

    Hi! I have been reading your blog now for almost 5 months now. This blog has kept me calm and feeling less alone. My little boy(5) has been fighting this and it is an absolute nightmare! He started with 4 little bumps in the crease of his elbow and increased to 11. We have done the beetlejuice treatment 6 times now and we thought we had beat this monster but I see 2 new bumps both where previous bumps were. AGH!! He does well with the treatment. Although it looks horrible the blisters don’t seem to bother him and he leaves them alone. But I am so sad for him. He is so self-conscious and paranoid about giving it to his friends. We keep them covered with water proof bandaids when he is around other kids. Compared to the other stories his is a miid case but I can’t help but hate it for him. So my question is should I keep doing the treatments? Should I call a dermatologist? HELP!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I am sorry to hear that you and your child are still struggling with molluscum. I know how frustrating they can be, for sure. If the blistering treatment does not bother him, and you are sure these new bumps are molluscum, you might as well go ahead and get them treated. You could opt to leave them alone and watch them, but they might spread. There is really no right or wrong answer. You just have to do what feels most comfortable to you. I hope they go away soon and they never come back! Good luck!

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  123. Amber says:

    Hello again!
    We are still battling this going on month 8 and no signs of this stopping or getting better! This is so defeating! The stress that this is caused in my life is unbelievable! My poor child is 11 and is really getting to her! She is so embarrassed Buy these ugly little things all over her body! She is so afraid to wear short sleeves because she has them under her armpit and now her inner elbow. I know there are much more worse things to be dealing with but to see her so depressed over this is heartbreaking! We are waiting for yet another appointment with yet another dermatologist. Because she has so many so clustered together cantharidin is not the best option! She is had five liquid nitrogen treatments, we have tried differen, and are now trying more homeopathic treatments including oregano oil. Last night I found yet another new one on her inner elbow. My question is this today… And you may not even be able to answer it but I will feel better if I ask. Will putting on a shirt for two minutes taking it off and then putting it back on spread this infection? The put a sweater on her today that had a Lacy type pattern on the sides, and the tank top she had under did not cover all of her molluscum as I thought it would. Since she was going somewhere special today and that was the only top AND we were pressed for time, we took it off after 2 minutes and put a t shirt on underneath.. I’m hoping the virus was not already on inside of her shirt and now I spread it to another part of her body by taking it off and putting it back on. I did pull the shirt up over her head in an inside out fashion, and try to be careful putting it back on and it didn’t touch her face, but still.. I immediately used a light salicylic acid acne medication on her face after.. But what about her hair,arms, etc? I hate that we possibly won’t even know until six months from now. This virus is certainly driving me crazy!!! With summer here she can’t even wear half of her clothes! No tank tops, cute dresses, bathing suits! I may request Tagamet but does this alter her immune system? My husband does not want to use Immiquimod bc of potential side effects. We have autoimmune disorders in the family? Right now I feel like throwing in the towel… The ones that are thoroughly bleached lol!! Thanks so much!

  124. Krystal says:

    Apple Cider vinegar was the ONLY thing that made my 5year old’s MC go away!

  125. Stacy says:

    Hello my 2 year old has had molluscum for about 1.5 years. We did the wait and see and she only had 3 on her lower leg. Recently we noticed that those 3 have started spreading out and up her leg and possibly to the other leg. We were thinking after this long they would be on their way out not getting worse. We have tried tea oil, ACV, zymaderm, peroxide, epson salt baths, ACV baths and nothing seems to be working. We are getting concerned that it will spread to vaginal area. Is there anything else we can try to prevent the spreading? We feel the wait and see is more like wait and watch spread. Should we buy acne cream for her to apply?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, there is nothing specific you can do to guarantee they won’t spread. I can reassure you that, although they do sometimes affect the labia, I have never seen them cause any serious issues in the genital area. Try to keep your child from scratching or picking at the bumps and make sure she washes her hands often. Use a good moisturizing cream on her daily to prevent dryness of the skin, which can promote spread of the virus. I would not use triamcinolone (a topical steroid) on the areas unless there is an associated dermatitis (red, itchy rash). If you can’t see a pediatric dermatologist, you could try applying a small amount of an OTC benzoyl peroxide cream to the bumps before bed as tolerated. Make sure to use it sparingly as it can cause a significant amount of local irritation at times. Good luck!

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

      • Stacy says:

        Thanks for the response! The top looks almost dry and the white core is more visible now, is that what happens before they start fading?

  126. Stacy says:

    We have Triamcinolone ointment can that be applied to the molluscum? ?

  127. Sue says:

    We are still dealing with it but was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as we only have a few left on the neck. But today, I just saw a new one on his eyelid! What do I do about that?! Also,
    is it ok pop the ones that look mature? I’ve accidentally popped the mature ones (very white and puffy) while applying cream to them. It seems by popping them, they might take the next step to healing, like the ones that turn red on their own. And by popping, I just gently apply a Q-tip to them (which doesn’t bother my son) and the white stuff oozes out. Just afraid of spreading with the white stuff oozing but isn’t it the same thing when the white stuff oozes out on their own?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Yes, they do usually heal after the core (the “white stuff”) is removed from the bumps. However, I do not routinely recommend “popping” them for a number of reasons, including the fact that the core is full of virus and can definitely spread the infection if it is not removed very carefully.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  128. Lisa says:

    I’m freaking out here. My son has mc and my husband unknowingly threw my sons wet bath towell from last night in with clean laundry in the dryer to get wrinkles out of clothes. I’m envisioning the virus growing and spreading all over my dryer and those clothes now! He says the heat killed any virus on our sons towell and the remaining clothes. Of course I will rewash this clothes but do I need to do anything to clean my dryer. Can’t the virus grow in warm wet locations? Also my husband wore a pair of pants to work from the dryer. What do you think the chances are that the virus is alive on his clothing?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I really can’t answer any of your questions with any degree of certainty, but I don’t think you should worry too much about this scenario. I would just re-wash the clothes that were in the dryer with the contaminated towel. As for your husband, healthy adults are generally unlikely to catch molluscum in this manner.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  129. Amy says:

    Dr., I have a 6 year old son who has had a single wart-like bump under his arm for a few months. His Dr. had looked at and said nothing to worry about – probably just a skin tag Today we noticed it was much larger, red and looked like a pimple. My husband washed his hands and gently squeezed and a dry white substance came out – no real liquid or oozing. It appears to still have some white substance within, but our son was uncomfortable with the squeezing so we stopped. We cleaned it, but Neosporin on it, and bandaged it. We will take him to the Dr ASAP. Do you think this sounds like MC? Do we need to worry about spreading the virus and rash spreading due to popping it and opening the bump. Thanks for any feedback or guidance.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It certainly sounds like it could be a molluscum bump. If it was inflamed and the core was removed, it will most likely resolve. Spreading is a possibility, but it seems like you cleaned the area after manipulating it. Hopefully, he will not develop more, but there is nothing else you can do except wait and see. Good luck!

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  130. Jeremy Klavens says:

    Hi Dr. Wright. Thank you so much for this blog. It’s very reassuring and helpful. My question is about after-care. My 4 yo son just had a cantharidin treatment. He has molluscum in his arm pits and down his side. He is complaining that they hurt. We are not sure if the pain is more psychological because we’ve been told many times that the treatment shouldn’t hurt. In any event, we obviously want him to be as comfortable as possible. What do you recommend for after care? Are baths okay or should we stick to showers? Vaseline? Ice? EpiCeram or Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream (we used these to help clear up some eczema before cantharidin treatment)?

    Thank you so much for your help and advice.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Most children do not complain of significant pain after treatment with cantharidin, but I do think the blisters can be a bit sore. It is certainly fine (and desirable) to bathe daily to keep the area clean. Either a bath or shower should be fine. Cleanse the area gently with soap and water (but do not use a bar soap that is shared with other family members), pat dry with a clean towel, and apply plain Vaseline to the area. I would not use any topical steroid on these areas as they heal. If your child seems genuinely uncomfortable, you could give Tylenol or Ibuprofen like you would for any other minor illness with general discomfort (assuming your child is not allergic or has another contraindication to taking these medications, obviously).

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

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    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      You should be able to find accurate information regarding molluscum on the websites for the American Academy of Dermatology (www.aad.org) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org).

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  132. Janet says:

    My 6 year old has had a nump on her tummy for about a year and a half now,about a month ago I noticed several more in the area and then some on the back of her leg. I kind of grabbed the biggest one between two fingers and it “popped” an egg like center came out and some other white stuff. It didn’t go away. We covered it with neosporin and a bandage but it’s still there. Yesterday I noticed the skin was really dry, I kind of ran my finger over it and when I did the skiing peeled back and a white core was in there I removed it the best I could but today it looks red and kind of swollen. I could send you a picture if possible. We don’t have health insurance and I just don’t know if I should take her in. She really wants to go swimming at the lake, could I put liquid bandage on it? I really hope you can help me. They have been here so long I’m starting to worry

    • Janet says:

      I also wanted to say they look like ant bites not really like warts and some are the size of a pin head.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I would keep the red area clean and continue to apply an antibacterial ointment daily until it has healed. Typically, once the core has been removed, the lesions heal spontaneously. If there are any open areas that appear inflamed or mildly infected, it would probably be advisable to avoid exposure to lake water until the spots have healed over. I’m not sure that liquid bandage would provide adequate protection against infectious organisms entering the skin and I also think it would probably burn and/or be quite irritating to the open skin.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

      • Janet says:

        Have you heard of zyrmaderm ? Do you think it may work? My poor baby has more bumps coming up. We don’t have insurance and I am so worried it is gonna spread to my sweet girls face. Please any suggestions are welcome

        • Janet says:

          Also how likely am I to get it from her?

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            It would be unusual for a parent to catch molluscum from their child.

            Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          I have heard of Zymaderm. Although I have no personal experience with it, and I cannot recommend it from a professional standpoint, I have had some parents tell me that it appeared to help for their child.

          Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  133. Stacy says:

    My 2 year old has about 20 on her left leg and have been there about a year. We have been letting it ride as told but now they are spreading, not going away. We noticed there is a new one on her arm and after bath I saw 2 really small ones on her chest just under the armpit. We fear that it’s going to keep spreading and get way out of control. Do you agree with the wait it out process? Or because of spreading after a year should we seek another opinion and see a dermatologist? I know hers isn’t bad compared to some, but we still don’t want her covered in warts and with the new spots they make me nervous since the arm she rubs her face with and on her chest a lot of friction. I’ve tried Zymaderm, qtips with ACV, peroxide, tea tree oil and acne cream and I don’t see a difference, when using those treatments it dried her skin and left rashes so I stopped.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Molluscum can be very unpredictable, so it is impossible to know whether your daughter’s will continue to spread or not. Some children only have a few lesions and others have many. If they are bothering her (or you), I think it is reasonable to seek an evaluation by a pediatric dermatologist. However, it would also be fine to wait and see what happens because, even if they spread, they are very unlikely to cause any significant medical problems.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  134. Maria says:

    Hello! My child had a cantharidin treatment yesterday. The dermatologist we saw instructed us to wash off the cantharidin after two hours, which we did. Happy to report my child has suffered no pain or suffering as I have read in some of the posts, but she also does not have any of the typical blisters that everyone has described. It has been a full 24 hours and they do look just a little bit more dried out and perhaps a little bit more scabby. Last night after a quick shower, they all were very red and appeared that the white core was sticking out. I basically just left them alone as they had been washed as I was instructed, and put a clean shirt on her. However since the typical reaction informing blisters has not happened, does this mean that either the cantharidin treatment did not work, and now those cores at the surface possibly furthered the spread. Should I have removed them? We Have been dealing with this now for eight months and it just not getting better! This Is our first treatment with cantharidin after trying liquid nitrogen and other topical means, and I really hope this process did not set us even further back! Also can she swim? I’m worried about spreading it to family in our home pool, and spreading further on her. I have bought her long sleeve swim shirts, as her spots are too numerous to cover with bandages. And she is also highly sensitive to bandages! Should I change her swim shirt several times throughout the day prevent her from sitting around in a wet bathing suit? Really wish someone to find a cure for this! Thanks!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      It can sometimes take up to 48 hours to develop blisters after treatment with cantharidin. If no blisters appear, and the lesions do not improve within the next 1-2 weeks, you may want to return for a repeat treatment. In this situation, I typically leave the medication on longer or use a stronger version. I would not attempt to remove the cores. The swimming question is difficult because whether or not molluscum spread via pools has been somewhat controversial. Although it is probably possible, I certainly do not recommend that children with molluscum be kept from swimming. The swim shirt is probably a good idea, though, and I don’t think you need to change the shirt throughout the day.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  135. Jackie says:

    My two year old had MC for a couple of months. A few trips to dermatologist . Liquid nitrogen which didn’t work then a blistering agent which did work on some but at a very painful cost. Tried retna-a an acne medication prescribed by the dermatologist , didn’t work. Just dried out skin. Then found conzerol. Within a week half of spots dried up. Omg. The ones on his butt are taking a little longer. But I think that is just where they are located. This stuff really works. Why don’t the dermatologists know about this. I am telling everyone. I was so skeptical about buying this and if it would really work. But I tried it had nothing to lose with money back guarantee Love it what a wonderful product. So glad I tried it my son and I want to share it with you!: This is the link to the site: http://www.molluscumclinic.com

    • Dana says:

      I was looking for some reviews and i found your comment, I will give this Conzerol cream a try… I’ve heard from a friend in school that his son got molluscum and go away in a few weeks with this cream, I was a little exceptional like you, so I started to research and all seems to be pointing to a good direction with this cream. I will give a try with my son (4yo). I will gladly share the results with the whole forum.

  136. Tina says:

    Dear Dr. Wright,

    My 4 year old daughter was treated for her 3 MC with bettle juice on her face yesterday. Today she had blisters and they were pretty gross. When I took her to school the teacher asked me to send in a note from the dermatologist stating they were not contagious. My question to you, after the MC has been treated by bettle juice, is it contagious? Thank you.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Until they are healed, they are probably still potentially contagious. However, your child should not be kept form school due to molluscum.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  137. Sam Gillies says:

    Dear Dr. Wright,

    My 4.5 year old was diagnosed about 18 months ago. We were told to leave it alone and wait it out but it is now suddenly spreading like wildfire. She must have 50 or more lesions. I am waiting for a pead dermatology appointment hopefully in 2 weeks. She is scratching them quite a lot now but there are too many for me to cover. Do you have any advice on how to stop the spread? They span from her tummy and down both legs. I wish I hadn’t listen to the advice from GP to watch and wait as I probably could have done more to prevent this from getting so bad. Which brings me to my next question. My heart sank the other day when I found a small cluster on my 2.5 year old. I have quickly slapped on some Betadine and a waterproof dressing to try and prevent her from being covered too. Have I done the right thing?

    Thanks so much.

  138. Amy says:

    Dear Dr. Wright,
    Thank you in advance for answering my questions. My 17 month old son started out with 1 mc on his right arm for a month. Then 3 on his leg and 6 on his lower back. The same day that he was treated with the beetle juice, he got 10 more on his butt. I treated them immediately with zymaderm because my dermatologist said it was worth a try and I cant get back in to see him until next week. The next day the new mc appeared kind of flat and red. I do not see a core because they are pretty small.

    1. Do you think the new red mc are healing or just growing bc they are kind of flat and red?

    2. He seems to be responding well to the beetle juice. Blisters formed pretty quickly and 1 already looks like a scab but not all of them look like they have cores, Is that normal?

    3. Tonight in the bath, one of the blisters had a little white thing hanging out and I pulled it. I think it was a core. It was hard. No blood. Do you think it will spread badly because he was in the bath?

    4. Could the beetle juice that was already given help fight new mc?

    5. Is it ok to use beetle juice on his butt?

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      1. I can’t say for sure, but I hope that means they are healing.
      2. That sounds normal to me.
      3. Probably not.
      4. No, the beetle juice will not prevent new molluscum.
      5. It depends. I don’t use it between the butt cheeks and I try not to put it right where the child will have to sit on the blisters or sores that form.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  139. Stacy says:

    Hey my daughter finally got the beetlejuice treatment 3 days ago. Most of them got blisters or blood blisters, however there is a patch of 3 that were treated and they never blistered and don’t look any different, is this normal? Does that mean they will need to be retreated in a few weeks?

    Also they are starting to look like they are out of the oozing stage, do you recommend we leave uncovered or cover them using vasoline & bandaids? She also developed a few on her vaginal area which we opted not to treat due to being painful, will her immune system recognize them since we irritated the others with the beetlejuice?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      You don’t always get the desired blistering reaction in all areas. I would wait until everything heals from this treatment before deciding about additional treatments, but some children need several treatments with the cantharidin before their molluscum clear up. Whether you cover them or don’t cover them while they heal is really up to you. If they are not bothering the child, I would just keep the areas clean and apply a little Vaseline to promote healing. If they need protection, or the child tends to pick at them, a bandage may be advisable.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

      • Stacy says:

        Thank you! We noticed about a week after treatment new ones have popped up all over her body, even in spots they have never been before. Is this normal? We figured by treating we wouldn’t have an outbreak like this. She had about 25 before treatment and after they treated about 20 she now has over 40!

        I also noticed my 4 year old now has what appears to be molluscum. Does this mean they are going to pass it back and forth now?

        • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

          Unfortunately, treating the existing molluscum doesn’t necessarily prevent new ones from appearing. On the other hand, I certainly don’t think that treating them typically causes them to spread, either. The bottom line is that, while you have active lesions, they can spread. If your other child also has them, it is just going to take time for both children to get over them. Some kids clear up really fast and don’t get recurrent crops, while others seem to take longer to get over them. Good luck!

          Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

          • Stacy says:

            She had another treatment and some survived it looks like under the red pigmentation spots. It also appears just like last time, one week later more appear, in new spots. We have been using lotion and the Dermatologist gave us cortisone cream for eczema that occurred in a few areas from treatment. My question is usually after beetlejuice how long does it take the body to recognize the virus and start kicking in?

            I’m getting to the point that I’m worried we are treating her and leaving these pink marks all over her body and her body still isn’t waking up. I really don’t want her covered in these pigmentation marks but it keeps spreading.

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            The marks will gradually fade over time. The cantharidin is a method of physical destruction of the lesions and does not specifically stimulate an immune response to the virus. It may indirectly promote an immune response by causing local irritation, but this is theoretical and highly variable.

            Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

          • Stacy says:

            Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I have one last one regarding my 4 year old. She has developed it as well 2 were treated that we spotted and 1 appears to have survived the beetlejuice, I also noticed one on her other leg so 2 total that I’ve found.

            My question is her’s appear to be small and red with the core. My 2 year olds were always skin colored and light. With hers being red does that mean her body is fighting it already? We spotted it 2.5 weeks ago. It doesn’t appear to be inflamed just red pimple with white center.

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            I suspect there is inflammation present of the lesions are red, so that is probably a good sign of a mild immune response.

            Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  140. Maria says:

    Hello Dr. Wright!
    After 10 months of battling this I thought I saw a light at the end of the Tunnel with my daughter. She had extensive lesions down her armpit and on her trunk, which responded very well to the second Cantharidin treatment, although the doctor did tell us to leave it on overnight! I am just waiting to see what happens as she still has extensive scars and pigmentation there. She does have a few pimples that are too soon to tell if they are molluscum or dermatitis etc. however all of my hopes were dashed yesterday as she must’ve scratched to the point where she left scratch marks on her body of course in the area of the questionable spots. This is so defeating as we won’t know for a few weeks as to whether or not this caused any spread! She knows not to rub or scratch we have had that discussion numerous Times but it is what it is and she scratched… Hard. As soon as I noticed I cleaned them out with iodine, peroxide and tea tree oil hoping that this would take care of any virus in the area. Overboard I know but she is heading to middle school where she will have to change in front of other girls for gym time, and I was hoping to have this all resolved by then. Her skin is not dry there so I’m not sure why she scratched to the point of blood marks. Do you have any recommendations as what else to do for the scratch marks? Does this mean she will definitely get molluscum there and I will have another battle of this awful virus? I feel like I just can’t win! I have her taking Black elderberry, and drinking apple cider vinegar diluted of course, daily! Just hoping this all helps!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Unfortunately, you will just have to wait and see what happens after the areas have healed. Use a good cream moisturizer on her skin every day and make sure to keep the areas out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  141. KARLA says:

    ANOTHER DESPERATE MOM!!
    Hello, my 3 years daughter has the MC since 6 months ago start on face, now on nec too. I try the ACV on one bump on her neck is dry now on just one time application!!!! but still red with scab.
    I went to the dermatologist because she start with more bumps all over her eyelids (both), I just spend time and money there and I left the office crying. they told my will be hard to treatment on the eyelids. they send me to see a pediatric opthomologist.
    My question is. Can I apply the ACV on those bumps (eyelids area)?
    Dermatologist say don’t because are close to her eyes.
    What should be the best treatment for the MC on eyelids? she had 18 bumps
    I did the ACV bath and her eyes turn irritated (color red) just for couple hours.
    PLEASE READ MY MSG AND ANSWER ASAP!!!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Obviously, you must be very cautious when using anything on or near the eyelids. All of the medications and other remedies used to treat molluscum can be very irritating. The eyelid skin is very delicate and it is important to avoid getting any of these irritating substances directly in the eye. For lesions that are not right at the lid margin, I sometimes prescribe a mild tretinoin cream to be used sparingly. If you can apply the ACV without getting it in her eye, I have had parents who have used it on the eyelids with some success. I know it is frustrating, but we really have very limited options when the eyelids are involved. Hang in there!

  142. Alli says:

    My son is 7 and has molluscum. Only had approx 15 bumps on waist and knees (which are red and inflamed). He woke up this morning with lots and lots of bumps on his feet, arms and hands (white bumps). It started with an itchy rash on his face which spread to his neck then down his arms and feet and in between his thighs. The rash around his neck was red and bumpy which I thought was a heat rash or eczema but was just wondering if you can wake up with hundreds and hundreds of molluscum bumps overnight or is it usually a slower progression. Some bumps are the size of half a pencil eraser and some are smaller. Thanks for your help!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      The new rash you describe is unlikely to be molluscum. It is probably what we call an “id” reaction. This is a hypersensitivity rash that can be seen with allergic contact dermatitis and skin infections. Although it is probably most commonly seen with fungal infections of the skin, I have definitely seen it with molluscum. It can be treated symptomatically, but it should clear as the molluscum improve.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  143. SH says:

    Hi – this is very helpful reading, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions.
    I have two questions for you please:
    1) I understand the importance of moisterizing the skin, but how can I do this without spreading it further? My understanding is that rubbing it spreads it. I can wash my hands or wear gloves, but how do I keep from spreading it from one portion of the skin to an unaffected but adjacent area?
    2) How important is it to keep my daughter away from other other children? Now that the weather is cooler, she’s covered in clothing and prior to that, had either bandaids or liquid bandaids over any lesions. I know she can go to school, but should I keep her away from social events with other kids? (eg – bday parties in jump houses with 5-6 year olds?)

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Gentle rubbing to apply moisturizer to the areas is probably unlikely to promote spreading. Spreading is more likely with vigorous rubbing, scratching, or picking. And I do not recommend keeping affected children isolated from other children as spread of the infection is unlikely in these casual social settings with limited physical contact.

      Teresa S. Wright, MD, FAAD, FAAP

  144. Maria says:

    Hello! It’s been a month since our last derm appointment in which our dr declared my daughter all clear. I am still very viligent as it was almost a year we battled molluscum under her armpit , back and arm. At the visit he said she had eczema also and prescribed a cream. I have been very hesitant to use it bc I have read it can cause molluscum to spread more and I wanted to be sure we were clear. It took a long time for the irritation of the beetle juice etc to go away and she still has tiny pin point pimples there some tan and most white.. A few are a little bigger but still very tiny. Are these molluscum again? Or can it be eczema? I have been moisturizing her and that’s when I noticed it. I’m heartbroken if that’s what it is! The area is not itchy at all so does this mean it’s definitely not eczema and the molluscum is returning? She has to change for gym and I don’t know what to do. I’m sure it will take awhile to get in with our derm again!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I really can’t be sure what you are seeing on your daughter’s skin. If she has areas of itchy dermatitis, I would use the topical medication prescribed by your doctor. The risk of it causing molluscum to spread is probably very low.

  145. Vanessa says:

    My six year old was diagnosed in June with MC. It look like it was clearing up we had one spot to go but today he had about 10 spread out around his groin area. He has eczema and keratosis pilaris so he is always scratching. My question is the dermatologist we saw said it usually clears up quickly with Cimetidine and a cream called veregen. Unfortunately it does not seem to work. Does Veregen and Cimetidine actually work or should I get a second opinion, I worry all the time since he is also autistic so I have my fair share of problems.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      In my experience, no single treatment is always 100% effective for molluscum. The evidence for using cimetidine for molluscum is very weak and I do not typically recommend it. Veregen is an option, but it does not always work well for everyone. I recommend you just choose a treatment that is easy for you to comply with and stick with it. They will go away eventually.

  146. Susana says:

    My daughter is 7 years old and has had molluscum since she was 4. A year ago we treated her for three months with a compounded medication that contained imiquimod but the lesions did not going away. Sometimes they get red, white and produce a scab on the very top but do not go away. Two months ago she was treated with cantharidin. She (and us) hated the blisters and the lesions looked very bad. After the blisters heeled, she was left with all the molluscum bumps and scar tissue(dark pigmentation) around them. What should we do next?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Honestly, since you have tried a couple of different treatment options with unsatisfactory results, you might just want to leave them alone now and wait for them to go away. I know she has had them for a long time, but they do always go away eventually. If you desire additional treatment, you might want to ask your doctor to prescribe a mild tretinoin cream (I use the 0.025%) to apply sparingly at bedtime as tolerated. This is not an approved treatment for molluscum, but it is generally considered safe and it does seem to help promote resolution for some patients. The main side effect is local irritation of the skin, so it is important to use it very sparingly and monitor the area very closely, taking a break if significant irritation develops.

      • Susana says:

        Thank you for your reply. I had a prescription of Tazorac (0.05%) at home and started using it together with apple cider vinegar and have seen some improvement. Some of the molluscum have reduced their sizes and scabbed. I just have to apply them sparingly, as suggested, because her healthy skin gets a little irritated and peels if I apply them everyday.

  147. Cat Poland says:

    I’m glad to have found such an active blog on this topic! My 3 y/o started out with three bumps on the back of her leg. Like so many others, we were told to “leave them alone” and they’d resolve on their own. Well, after four months, they’ve spread like wildfire. She has probably 100 bumps on the back of her legs. We’ve tried Zymaderm with no luck, and while the apple cider vinegar approach did quickly dry up many of them, it left her skin so dry and irritated that she scratched like crazy and spread even more. So, we’re considering the blister beetle approach. I can’t even imagine how many visits we’ll have to make. I’m wondering several things. How should we keep her skin moisturized without further spreading, and also, why aren’t pediatricians more proactive when there are “just a few bumps” that can easily be treated? Why do so many of us end up with major problems when we could have prevented this massive spread from happening by just treating those few bumps?

    • Stacy says:

      My daughters spread and she had about 50. It took 3 Beetlejuice treatments and using Aldara on her vaginal area and it finally cleared! Our appointments were 4-6 weeks apart and she did have outbreaks soon after each treatment but we stuck with it and they finally scabbed and went away.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I certainly understand your frustration. I have found that some children only get a few molluscum and they never spread, while others develop dozens of lesions very rapidly. It is impossible to predict whether they will spread to a large degree or not. Some physicians (and parents) prefer not to treat at all, since this is considered a “benign” process that will eventually resolve spontaneously. Having said that, I know how annoying and uncomfortable they can be. They can leave scars and they do occasionally become infected. I recommend moisturizing the skin daily as dry skin is certainly more itchy and more vulnerable to spread of the virus. As long as you are not rubbing the affected areas vigorously enough to dislodge the central cores in the bumps, it is unlikely that you will cause them to spread by applying moisturizing cream to the area. I use a lot of cantharidin in the office, but I typically only treat a couple of dozen lesions at any one time. You could try one of the home remedies you have mentioned or ask your doctor for a mild prescription tretinoin cream (I use the 0.025%) to apply sparingly at bedtime between the cantharidin treatments. It can be very irritating to normal skin, though, so it is important to use it sparingly and monitor the area closely, taking a break if the irritation becomes significant. Good luck!

  148. Stacy says:

    Hello my 2 year old finally beat Molluscum with treatmemts and the last cleared about 2 weeks ago. However she gave it to her 4 year old sister. Her sister only has 2 small on her legs and 1 on her elbow. My question is my daughter hopped in the bath with her sister who still has Molluscum, is she able to get it again after she just beat it? I got her out after 5 mins and turned the shower on and rinsed her off. I wasn’t sure if I needed to worry or not, we are trying to get this out of our house.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      That is impossible to answer with any certainty. It sounds like you took the proper action when you realized the situation. I would avoid letting them bathe together until they are both clear of molluscum.

  149. A Lusynska says:

    Hello, I am a first grade teacher with a student with molluscum in my class. He has many bumps all over his face. Looking on the internet, I see contrasting information – one website indicating that it spreads like wildfire among children, and another saying that it is only mildly contagious between people. I am interested in accurate information so that I can protect my other students from it, as well as my own children at home – of course without excluding the student with molluscum.. I worry about my own children because my 7 year old has very dry itchy skin already and my children have brown skin on which scarring shows up so easily. I worry about the other students because they all share pencils, markers, books, and everything in our class with the student who has molluscum. I know that it can be spread from skin to skin contact or moist objects like towels – but what are the chances that it spreads in my class because of shared use of common classroom objects? And more personally: I am very worried about my own kids at home! How likely is it that I would carry the molluscum virus home to them on items that travel between my classroom and home – like my water bottle, my clothing, etc. Can I transmit it from my clothing that the student with molluscum has touched to my own kids when they touch that clothing? Or can it be transmitted from my clothing to my car – and then back onto me later when I get into my car? I am freaking out about this because it lasts so long and looks so bad and so uncomfortable. Please help!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I certainly understand your concerns as these questions arise frequently. I can only answer these questions in general terms as there is no way to guarantee another child in the classroom will not develop molluscum at some point. As you know, molluscum is a type of pox virus. As such, it is potentially contagious. However, we do not think of it as being wildly contagious or easily transmitted through casual contact, such as between children in a classroom setting. In addition, there are differences in susceptibility between individuals. Sometimes, I see families where only one child has molluscum, even though multiple kids are bathing together and are clearly in close contact in the home environment. I strongly believe that affected children should not be excluded from school or their regular activities. Having said that, I do advise parents to cover the involved areas with clothing whenever possible. Clearly, this is not possible when they are on the face. I advise parents to discourage the child from picking and scratching at the lesions and to encourage regular handwashing. The viral particles are located within the core of the bumps and simply touching the surface alone is not usually enough to pick up and transfer the viral particles. When lesions become red and angry looking, they are often about to resolve spontaneously. Even if a child with molluscum is seeing a doctor for treatment, there is no perfect, rapid cure; treatment can take time and may not always be effective. The condition typically resolves spontaneously, although this process may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, in some cases. As an adult, you would be very unlikely to catch this virus from a student in your class (parents are rarely affected even when their own children are infected) and it would be very unlikely that you would carry it home to your own children on your clothing or another surface. I would advise washing your hands well when you are done with your day in the classroom. I hope this information helps.

  150. A Lusynska says:

    One more thing to add! The mulloscum on my student’s skin began to grow and become pustular last week, and at this time he was scratching and picking at them a lot. Of course this raised more concern about contagion. Now his family is using a moisturizer and he is not picking at them anymore. But naturally in the course of the day, his hands touch his face. Can he spread them just be touching them (ie leaning his face on his hands) if he is not scratching/picking? I really do not know what to do to protect my students and own children at home. I know it is benign but stili seems really frustrating and longlasting ….

  151. A Lusynska says:

    Also just wanted to say a big thank you for keeping up this blog, so useful to so many! Thank you!

  152. A Lusynska says:

    Thank you, Dr. Wright, for your time and help. I have had a hard time getting accurate information to help me know how to best handle this situation for everyone involved. I really appreciate you keeping up this blog – an invaluable resource. Muchas gracias!

  153. Kari says:

    This blog was so helpful. My daughter was treated yesterday with beetlejuice. They told at the office me to wash it off in an hour and a half. I didn’t realize that I had to peel the dried parts off. I thought it was her skin and I was ripping it off. I thought they meant to take the oil off. She told me that the spots were hurting so I went online and figured out I was supposed to peel the dried oil off. I washed it off 12 hours later in the middle of the night. I am so nervous when she wakes up that she will be in pain. She kept saying how much it hurt when I was removing the beetlejuice. I thank you so much for all of the help you provide in your responses. You are helping so many people.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I hope your daughter is okay. If she has unusually large blisters or significant pain from her treatment, I recommend you contact your physician for advice. Assuming she has no allergies or other conditions that prevent her from taking pain relievers, you should be able to give her Tylenol or Motrin for pain relief.

  154. Gabriela says:

    Hello Dr.!
    Is it possible for a dermatologist to not be able to tell 100 percent if a lesion is indeed mc? My daughter we thought had this beat in August but I have been monitoring her skin like a hawk. She has developed eczema and I took her today to see our derm to have those 2 spots checked. She also has a pimple/bump on her back on the side where she had the mc. I asked him to look at it and he wasn’t sure,… Said it was hard to tell but it was suggestive to mc and he treated it with Cantharidin with instructions to wash off in 24 hours. To me it doesn’t look like the molluscum she had and she has skin bumps that come and go.. Most often around hair follicles etc. is there any other condition that can be confused with mc? I’m sick to my stomach to think we have this again!

    • Gabriela says:

      Also, how likely if it is indeed mc for it to spread like wildfire like it did last time? And when can we say for certain we are done? I take so many precautions with disinfecting and showering her it’s exhausting!!! And she changes for gym so I am worried about her changing and spreading it around other parts of her body with it being on her school clothes and gym clothes!! Everyone is so paranoid about lice in schools, wait until they get MC!!!!!! Praying this bump was something else!!! It’s almost Been 24 hours and this am before school the bump looked much bigger after Cantharidin.. Last night it looked like a tip of the bump was protruding but very hard to tell if it was a core. What would Cantharidin do if it wasn’t MC? Sorry for so many questions but this blog is the one thing that has been most helpful for this entire ordeal!

      • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

        Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where it is impossible to answer questions with 100% certainty. However, in my experience, it would be very unusual for a minor recurrence to “spread like wildfire”. More than likely, even if she does have a new molluscum lesion, your daughter has developed some immunity to the virus at this point. I think you can drive yourself crazy with washing and sanitizing, so I just recommend taking reasonable measures to keep things clean, encouraging regular handwashing, discouraging picking at any suspected lesions, not sharing towels, etc. If your doctor treated a bump that is not molluscum, the area should be expected to blister and heal without any particular problem.

        • Gabriela says:

          Thank you so much for your replies!! I am still not sure what’s going on with that bump but I am keeping an eye on it. Just a quick question for piece of mind as you stated above about sharing towels… Of course I don’t let anyone use her towel as I even wash hers seperate on the sanitize cycle. But I assume that once clean and properly sanitized there is no risk of spreading that on correct? We had a soccer short incident where her sibling had to borrow a pair of her soccer shorts as an emergency.. He had them on for 10 minutes tops until he miraculously found his. But all of her clothes at the very least are run thru the dryer on sanitize after washing (I can’t wash everything in hot water as I am ruining all her clothing) but I do run it all through sanitize once dry. She also hasn’t worn those shorts in over a week and only had one molluscum on her hip over the summer. But my little one is worried he will get it now, and of course that makes me second guess how viable is this virus on clothing?

          • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

            I don’t think you have to worry too much about this brief episode of clothes sharing between siblings.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Sometimes it is hard to tell if a bump is molluscum or not, especially if it is very small. I see thousands of them and I’m not always 100% sure. The dry follicular based bumps of keratosis pilaris or follicular eczema are probably most likely to be mistaken for molluscum at times.

  155. Tmack says:

    My husband and I are in desperate search of an answer. My son supposedly has molluscum that has now spread to his buttock region (the crack around anus). We see that they are red and irritated. He has single ones and then clusters of them. I’ve read that once they get irritated, the body starts fitting them off. My fear is that these blisters will rupture and then spread. Is that true? Since we can’t cover them because of the location, I’m not sure what we need to do to prevent it from continuing to spread. He’s 2 years old. Any information would be so greatly appreciated. We are just at a loss!

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Molluscum can certainly spread, but the extent to which this happens really varies from person to person. All you can do for your son is keep the area clean and keep him from picking/scratching at the bumps. I often prescribe a mild tretinoin cream to use sparingly on molluscum in that area, but it can be very irritating so some children do not tolerate it well. They will go away eventually. If they are red/irritated, that is often a sign that the body’s immune system is fighting them and they are about to resolve.

  156. Pam says:

    My son is five has molluscum on inner thigh up to his genitals, a few on butt and back of thighs also. He saw the dermatologist on Friday he put a chemical on he called it that started with a “P” and now Sunday everywhere he put it in surrounding is beet red from above penis all the way to inner thigh almost v shaped and every where else that chemical was put, but it doesn’t bother my son but I didn’t know if that’s a reaction to the chemical and its normal reaction????

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I’m not sure what he used if it started with a “p”. I hope your son is feeling better and you were able to reach the doctor for advice.

  157. Pam says:

    Okay my five-year-old actually just came to me saying it’s very uncomfortable when he walks and sits now, so it is bothering him :( I can’t get a hold of the doctor till after nine tomorrow so that’s why I am posting a comment!!

  158. Jerry says:

    Hello, my 7 year old son has had this for about a year. He has them mainly on his bottom. I have been using liquid bandage on them to help prevent them from spreading. We went to the dermatologist about 3 weeks ago. The Dr. introduced yeast particles to the largest lesion with a hyper dermic needle with the intent to stimulate the immune system to recognize the virus. Have you heard of this approach? It doesn’t seem to be doing much. We are supposed to go back in 6 weeks for another treatment. Also do you think applying Desitin to the skin on his bottom is ok. I guess I was thinking that the zinc oxide would help protect the skin that may be dry. I am hoping that by using the Desitin I am not spreading the virus more. His bottom does seem dry. You had mentioned a few lotions to keep the skin moist. We do keep Aveeno lotion in the house. Do you recommend avoiding putting the lotion directly on the bumps? I have been letting this darn virus consume so much of our lives lately.
    It is so frustrating to see my little guy going through this for so long. Do you think that constantly using the liquid bandage hinders the bumps from healing or maybe delays its ability to resolve naturally? I broke down tonight while treating my sons Molluscum. I have tried many things and I think that some of them have dried out his skin a little and I may have contributed to the spread of some of them. I think using the bandages to cover them was what caused some irritation and dryness. Many of them are red and irritated and I have actually seem some of them resolve… but I see more popping up occasionally. I want to say that I am just in awe of you! I look back at all these responses and comments over the years on this virus. Your dedication to your profession and compassion for people is incredible.

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I am sorry to hear your son has been struggling with molluscum. It sounds like your doctor is trying treatment with intralesional candin injections. I personally do not use this treatment for molluscum, although I am aware of it and I do use it sometimes for common warts. Unfortunately, no single treatment for this type of viral skin condition is 100% effective and only time will tell if this appears to help your son. I doubt you have done any harm by applying the liquid bandage to the affected areas, but this is not something I typically recommend, either. I do think it is helpful to keep the skin well moisturized and I would encourage you to apply a bland barrier ointment (like the Desitin you mention) or creamy emollient to the area daily. Although it is theoretically possible that you might spread the virus by rubbing cream over the area, I personally believe this is unlikely as long as you touch the area gently. The viral particles are contained within the hard cores inside the bumps and you typically have to scratch or rub them pretty hard to dislodge the cores. If some of your son’s lesions are getting red/irritated and resolving, that is a good sign that his immune system is fighting the virus. I hope he is all done with it very soon!

  159. Pam says:

    Hi again the “chemical” being used 1 time a week is called podophyllum! Have u heard of it and or used it to treat molluscum??

  160. Kelli says:

    Hi,
    I’ve gotten MC from one way or another in my genital area. I have been prescribed Imiquimod and have use it 3 times, for only one week so far. There’s is irritation and itching after the cream and sometimes throughout the day. I have experienced also after the cream some muslce aches, is this normal?
    Before the cream was ever applied I tried popping them at home and they bled like crazy and was really painful. The two big ones I tried to pop are still huge, red and blister like and hurt/sting if rubbed or when I pee, etc. And others that are smaller and just red but they don’t hurt. I have still been applying the cream because I feel like it’s better than nothing. I have read however that you shouldn’t apply the cream to open wounds or sores, so should I stop with the cream? Are the blisters/sores healing correctly or even at all? During the day I put bandages on them and take them off at night and none when I have cream on. Some towards my anal region are darker and have this harder layer of skin, maybe starting to be a scab, over the area but there’s not much of a bump anymore. Are those healed and cannot infect?
    Are there any successful solutions that I could do to speed up the process?

    • Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist Dr. Teresa Wright, Dermatologist says:

      I should emphasize that I do not treat adults at all in my practice. Having said that, imiquimod cream is sometimes used as a treatment for molluscum. It can cause a lot of local irritation and I believe that some patients have been reported to experience non-specific “flu like” symptoms while using it (maybe this explains your muscle aches?). I do not know of any reason why it cannot be applied to small open areas, except that the potential for irritation is probably increased in that situation. Swelling, redness, and irritation are often signs of impending resolution of the bumps. Good luck!

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