Reviews of Treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum
In the process of treating my molluscum contagiosum, I must have tried twelve or more different treatments, including prescription medication, alternative treatments, and home remedies. I spent more than six months looking for a cure that worked, and I did considerable research about various treatments. Here are some of the treatments that I tried out as well as some that I did not try out but I researched quite a bit:
This is the first thing I tried out because it is the easiest. There were three small bumps on my neck and they were still there after three weeks. This was not normal and I started getting suspicious. So I dabbed them with alcohol a few times a day for a few days. It is totally ineffective. It does not cure the bumps or stop the infection.
This is the second treatment I attempted. Polysporin is an antibiotic cream that helps prevents infection from cuts and bruises. I tried it for about a week, but there was no improvement. The bumps I had where still small at this stage and I did not know that they were molluscum contagiosum. I had not even heard about molluscum.
At this point, I had the bumps for more than a month. They were just 3 bumps still. So I went to the doctor, who identified them immediately as molluscum contagiosum. She treated them with liquid nitrogen right away and declared me as cured. The liquid nitrogen burned just a bit, so it was not too bad. Unfortunately, the three bumps were still there two week later, and a few more had appeared as well. So I went in and got a second treatment of liquid nitrogen, a bit stronger this time. Two week later, the 3 original bumps were gone, but the others were still there, and new ones had sprouted. I did not go back for a third treatment. The doctor had said they would go away on their own, and I took here word for it, so I decided to wait them out.
One web page recommended trying duct tape. There was no research on it, but they said that if it works on warts, then it probably works on molluscum. Most of by bumps where visible on my neck, so I did not want to walk around with a tape that everyone can see. I did have a few bumps below my collar level though, so I taped those. I tried it for three weeks, but there was no effect. The taped bumps were the same size as the others, so I doubt that the tape had any effect.
Four months later, the bumps were large, red, and horrible to look at. They were right there on my neck were everyone could see them. So I went to see another doctor. He prescribed two medication creams. The first was an antibiotic called fucidin. The second was steroid cortisone. I forgot the name. He also told me to wash the area regularly with an off-the-shelf cleanser called Spectro Jel. A month later, the bumps were larger than ever and still spreading. Another doctor I visited told me not to use either of the creams. The antibiotic cream is useless because it does not affect viruses. The cortisone cream does more harm than good because it weakens the immune system in the area where it is applied, and it makes it harder for your body to fight off the infection.
I was going to try out ZymaDerm at this point, so I researched it for a few days. The verdicts are very conflicting, with many people saying it has no effect. From contacting people who tried it out, I came to the conclusion that it would not help me very much. It seemed to work better on children than on adults, and I'm not a child. It seemed to work better on an area of small molluscum bumps, and I had large bumps at this stage. So I did not try it. Instead, I tried iodine, which is an active ingredient in ZymaDerm.
Whenever I did a search for "molluscum" online, colloidal silver always popped up. Call me paranoid, but I am a bit wary of drinking silver, so I almost brushed it off right away. But I did my research anyway. From what I could tell, it is a scam. They were banned by the FDA. There are people posting fake testimonials for them in forums, groups, and blogs. Just avoid this. If you want to try it out, just lick a silver spoon or rub it against your bumps.
Six months into my infection, a dermatologist told me I had one of two options. Either use a prescription medication called Aldara, or he could remove the bumps surgically using a curette. So, I asked about Aldara. Apparently, it probably works. But there are the disadvantages. It is very expensive. I was quoted a price of $100 for a treatment. Although a cream is available, the dermatologist went so far as to recommend injecting it directly into each bump. Of course, that did not go too well with me. "And how long before I am cured?" I asked. "Two to three months," was the reply. So I had to wait up to three months for it to work. Apparently, Aldara activates your immune system, causing our body to fight off the molluscum contagiosum virus. And you have to wait it out until it works. I was looking for a faster solution, plus I was not too happy about the expense, so I said no.
It seems that some doctors are just too happy to cut you up. I think it reminds them of their good old med school years. Or maybe it is that they envy their school mates who became surgeons. Anyway, the dermatologist who recommended Aldara to me also recommended cutting the bumps as an option. I had many bumps, and I was not too keen on someone playing surgeon on my neck, so I said no right away. I did a bit of research on it later on. The bumps are cut or scraped to remove the virus which lives in the tips of the bumps. However, this method is not too effective, and it will probably scar the skin. Also, there is a risk of infecting even more skin while removing the virus. And several treatments are needed because new bumps will show up later.
Like liquid nitrogen and surgical scraping, a laser treatment targets the virus in individual bumps. So each bumps need to be treated seperately and the laser will cook the virus inside it. This treatment has a lower probability of scarring than the other two, but still it does not address the fact that the infection is still spreading onto nearby skin. So continuous treatments are needed until the infection is cured, and this can be very expensive.
Tea Tree Oil
I came across tea tree oil as a possible treatment for molluscum contagiosum. However, it seemed to have so many adverse side effects, that I decided against trying it. It is extremely poisonous and harsh, so it really has to be handled with care. It will probably cause a rash on the skin, which I am not sure is worth the effort. Several people I communicated with indicated that they tried tea tree oil with no improvement.
I came across iodine as a possible treatment. I researched it and came upong the suggestion that the bumps be pricked first to allow the iodine to seep inside because iodine cannot penetrate the skin easily. So I did that. I had a few bumps under my hair at the back of my neck. I put some iodine on the bump to disinfect it, pricked it with a pin, squeezed it to get some of the virus out, and then put some more iodine to get it inside. Two weeks later, the bump was still there, and I had a few new small bumps all around it. So I thought that maybe the iodine needs to be applied over an extended period. So, I applied it to two adjacent bumps on my neck and covered them with a band aid while they were still wet. I repeated this for a week. To my dismay, the bumps were even bigger at the end of the treatment.
I was now about eight months into my infection, and there was no sign that it was slowing down. The bumps were getting bigger and more numerous with every passing month. Then, someone told me about the ACVx treatment that had worked for them. I saw no disadvantages to it, so I decided to give it a try. It is a one shot treatment. Starting the third day, there was a noticeable improvement. A week later, I could not feel the bumps anymore. They were still red and visible, bit no longer any swelling. Two weeks later, they could be hardly seen at all. My 7 year old daughter also got infected with mollscum. She had a patch about half the size of a slice of bread on the side of her stomach. We treated her with ACVx and the bumps were fading in less than a week, which is even a faster recovery than I experienced. I also know other people who tried it and have heard only positive feedback. So I would definitely recommend this treatment.
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