Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus. The infection is usually a mild skin disease characterized by lesions (bumps) that can appear anywhere on the body. Generally speaking, Molluscum Contagiosum can take from 6-12 months to go away if left untreated, however, in some cases it can take up to 4 years to heal (according to the CDC). To improve the skin’s appearance and, more importantly, prevent the virus from spreading, many patients try to treat it. Treatments include:
This treatment method uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the lesions. It destroys the bump from the outside. While the results are very quick, cryotherapy can cause scarring, skin numbness, or infection. Some patients have reported skin discolorations after undergoing cryotherapy and this process must be performed by a qualified health care provider.
Curettage is a treatment option performed by a doctor where a curette is used to remove the bumps from the skin. A curette is a medical instrument used for scrapping tissue. The process can be very painful, as the curette is extremely sharp and requires a great deal of pressure on the skin to be successful. While the results are immediate, it is usually only used for patients with a very small number of bumps. This method can cause scarring and/or discoloration.
Generally speaking, this process is not recommended for children, as the experience can be extremely painful and/or frightening.
There are topical treatments available, but some are toxic in certain situations and others must be prescribed by a health care professional and may include blistering agents that could cause scarring.