Molluscum contagiosum, simply known as molluscum, is a skin infection in which small pearly-white or slightly pink bumps develop on the skin. The molluscum can develop on part of skin like face, arms, hands and neck, but they never appear on palms and souls. The infection is more commonly seen in children under the age of 15 years, but it can also appear in teenagers or adults. Usually molluscum lumps develop in groups and each lump is round, firm and about 1-5 mm in diameter. A tiny dimple develops on top of each lump and if you squeeze it, a white cheesy fluid comes out.
Your doctor can diagnose the infection simply by physical examination of the lumps. In case he isn’t sure, excisional biopsy can be done in which the doctor may take skin scrapings from the infected area and examine them under a microscope. In case of bumps on genital area, your doctor might want to check for other sexually transmitted diseases.
In most cases the infection heals completely without treatment within 6 to 12 months. Only those with weak immunity take longer to heal. However, as the virus can easily and rapidly spread to other parts of the body, treatment is often recommended. Here are some popular treatment options for molluscum:
1. Topical treatments
Many creams and lotions are available for treating the lumps. Topical 5% potassium hydroxide, podophyllotoxin, benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin are some popular topical treatments that are either available on prescription or over-the-counter from pharmacies. Most of these ointments must be applied twice or thrice every day before the lumps begins to heal in few weeks. For larger lumps you can consider Imiquimod cream, which works by stimulating immune system into attacking the virus. All these creams can cause hardening and swelling of the skin. You can even experience itching sensation after their application. Those, who don’t want to use chemical treatment, can opt for FDA approved natural topical treatment available at ShytoBuy. These formulations offers painless treatment support and help shrink lumps quickly.
2. Surgical procedures
Cryotherapy is a surgical procedure involving freezing the lumps with liquid nitrogen. A qualified healthcare professional freezes each lump for 5-10 seconds so that a layer of ice forms over the spot and surrounding skin. The therapy usually takes three to four sessions for complete removal of lumps. It is not only expensive, but it can take a lot of time as well because there is a gap of two to three weeks between each session.
Diathermy, in which heat is used to burning the lumps, can be used for removing the molluscum growth. Curettage is a method in which spots are removed by scraping them off with a thin metal instrument called a curette. Pulsed-dye laser treatment uses a beam of light to destroy the cells of the lump. It only takes one or two sessions to clear all spots. The scar left behind by the laser usually heals within a week or two.