What are the goals for treatment of molluscum contagiosum?

Updated: Aug 09, 2018
  • Author: Ashish C Bhatia, MD, FAAD, FACMS; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Molluscum contagiosum usually resolves within months in people with a normal immune system. Many treatments have been promoted for molluscum contagiosum. The common goal of most treatment methods is the destruction of lesions and the development of a localized inflammatory reaction. Extensive controlled studies have not been performed and all treatments have advantages and disadvantages. A review for the Cochrane Database examined the effects of several topical, systemic, and homeopathic interventions. [29]  One report suggested using a 10% solution of essential oil of Australian lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora). [63]

Among the findings, the investigators determined that there was limited evidence for the efficacy of sodium nitrite coapplied with salicylic acid compared with salicylic acid alone.

In addition, no statistically significant differences were found for topical povidone iodine plus salicylic acid compared with either povidone iodine or salicylic acid alone

The investigators also found no statistically significant differences between treatment with placebo and therapy with potassium hydroxide or between placebo treatment and systemic treatment with cimetidine or calcarea carbonica, a homeopathic drug.

The authors concluded no single intervention has been shown to be convincingly effective in treating molluscum contagiosum. However, various limitations were found in the studies reviewed, and the investigators cautioned that small study sizes may have caused some important treatment differences to be missed. None of the evaluated treatment options were associated with serious adverse effects.

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