Molluscum Contagiosum

Q. My son has molluscum on his back. The dermatologist says he can scrape it off but that might leave some scarring. He also said it will go away by itself in about two years.
Is there a natural remedy for molluscum? Two years is a long time!

A. Molluscum contagiosum, a small flesh-colored, pink or white bump with a center dimple, is a skin condition caused by a virus. There may be one bump or many, and children are most susceptible.
Dermatologists have several possible treatments for the bumps of molluscum, but they do go away on their own. Sometimes they disappear in six months, but it can take as long as four years. Scraping or freezing them off may leave scars.
A few readers have shared herbal remedies that might be worth a try. One wrote: “I successfully used Australian lemon myrtle extract ($8) to cure a dermatologist-confirmed case of molluscum contagiosum on my 5-year-old daughter. The doctors were surprised and shocked.” In one small study, topical application of Australian lemon myrtle, Backhousia citriodora, worked within a month (Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, May, 2004).
Another reader treated her child with a homemade salve of Aquaphor ointment (2 oz) mixed with lavender (20 drops) and thyme (10 drops) essential oils. She warns against putting thyme oil directly on the skin.

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  1. Carly R

    My daughter has had these bumps for almost a year with them spreading from a few to at least 75-100 all over her but and a few on the insides of her leg. Our pediatrician said there wasn’t much that could be done and suggested tea tree oil. I applied this and her skin became very rough and red and the bumps were still there. I then remembered this site and looked up and read what people tried.

    I decided to go with the salt baths since this seemed pretty benign and easy for a 5 year old…what five year doesn’t like an extended bath time? I also followed the bath time up by rubbing the coconut oil on her bum, this was to help with the rough skin.

    Her bumps have now all gone down and am just continuing to apply the oil. Can’t wait to tell her Dr about this.

  2. Samantha

    I’ve had my MC for about three months now. My doctor said they go away on their own in about two months but it only seemed to get worse, so after a month of that I decided to use the prescription cream called aldera. It works but at a very slow rate and also doesn’t stop them from spreading, as I have developed many new ones without ever scratching. I’m going to try the Epsom salt baths tonight snd hope I see more results

  3. Abby

    Given the amount of research I did online trying to find a solution for our daugher’s molluscum, I had to share the medical cure we finally found. Her case was extreme – the worst the pediatric dermatologist had ever seen with hundreds of bump everywhere but her face. We tried everything: vinegar baths, bleach baths, zymaderm, essential oils (clove, lemon myrtle, tea tree, etc. etc.), duck tape, potassium hydrochloride, tagamet, salicylic acid, and on and on. Nothing worked.

    The dermatologist recommended immunotherapy since she had too many to freeze or scrape them off. She injected 3-4 of the bumps with the yeast candida in a specific region at a series of 3 appointments 3 weeks apart. First we injected 3 bumps on her back. The next appointment was 4 on her torso and bottom. And finally 4 on her arms and legs. The results were amazing, but mainly kicked in after the second appointment. They just started to disappear, no matter the developmental stage they were in. The ones she had scratched took longer to heal, but also went away. We are now focused on helping her skin be as healthy as possible so the scars can fade.

    I hope this helps others fighting this horrible virus. Please ask for a derm referral and that they do the candida injections. It does an amazing job of stimulating the child’s immune system to fight it off. Good luck!

  4. AAS

    Hi, just wanted to update everyone on my MC treatment. After 2 months, I am completely MC free! Because I am in my twenties and very sexually active, I did everything to get rid of it ASAP. At night, I would take hot epsom salt baths (2 cups/bath) and shower right afterwards. Also, I dried off my hair and extremities with a towel, but when I got anywhere near the affected area I would use paper towels and pat dry. After I got out of the shower, I would lather coconut oil onto the affected areas. I also took 2 Tagmet pills 3 times a day as well as Lysine. I developed this routine after spending countless hours scouring every web page and compiling info about what seemed to work best. It took about 4 weeks to see any changes, but at one month, I could definitely begin to see the changes. I stopped using the coconut oil just after a month but continued with the epsom salt, Tagmet and Lysine. Now 25lbs of epsom salt later, I’m back to my old self. I developed red spots on my arms after the first few epsom salt baths, which led me to think I was allergic to it; turns out it was a heat rash from making the baths way too HOT. Just be aware in case this happens to you.
    To summarize: Hot epsom salt baths did the trick. Trim, don’t shave. Coconut oil makes your skin soft. Try epsom salt before wasting $30 on Zymaderm like I did. Be patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results within the first few weeks. Thank you everyone for the input, and happy holidays! :D

    • Toni

      Hi there AAS. What do you think about the sea water? Instead of Epson salt bath? I started bringing my son to the beach. Today is just the second day. I let him stay in the water for half hour.

      • AAS

        I can’t comment on sea water, but I did try the dead sea salts when I thought I was having a reaction to the epsom salt. I think it’s the magnesium sulfate that kills the MC virus so your method may or may not work depending on the level of MgSO present in sea water. I like to stick with techniques that have proven to be effective. However, if your technique works for you, comment back and let us know.

    • BB

      Hi, I was wondering if you bathed your whole body in the epsom salt bath? And how long did you bathe in it? Also I was wondering if you rinsed off after applying the coconut oil?

      Have you try using the tea tree oil either?

      I’ve noticed I had it for 3 weeks now and I want it gone because I’m also really sexually active. So please help me!!!

    • SJ

      Hi, I have MC and want to try the Epsom Salt baths. Just wondering though, did you disinfect the bath tub after each use? Or is it unnecessary? I have a housemate and would hate to put her at risk!

  5. Garda Collison

    See the thyme and lavender treatment – it really works!

  6. A.J.D

    I’m 19 year old male, and have MC for 3 months now! About 7 on my face and 4 in the genital area… It’s very worrying seeing it spread and I am trying a couple of remedies.
    Iodine did not work at all..after using it for 3 weeks it only stung and left red rashes on my face which practically highlighted the suckers.
    I’m currently using this cold sore cream my pharmacy gave and also thyme oil. The thyme oil burns like hell!! Especially after I accidentally got it in my eye (there’s two directly under my eye). I’m seeing no change and I’m losing hope..
    I’m going to start bathing in Epsom salts and then rubbing coconut oil, I really hope it works as my
    girlfriend can barely touch me in fear she will get infected too, the positive reviews on it encourages me so I’ll repost in a week and update on the situation.

    • AAS

      I’m 24 and recently got MC. At first I thought it was just ingrown pubic hair, but it soon spread all over my pubic area. I just took my first hot Epsom salt bath and also just finished lathering on coconut oil. I’ll report back on the progress. BTW, Walmart has 8lb bags of Epsom salt for $5. Thanks for all the input everyone.

      • Claudia

        How long were the baths you took? I’m trying to get ride of MC !

    • Jane Ross

      My granddaughter was just diagnosed with molluscum and her pediatrician said to use zymaderm, an over- the- counter treatment. After trying to find it at two drug stores, I found it online. Comments regarding its use were quite positive and I am ordering some for her to try.

    • Toni

      AJD, any update? Thanks.

  7. SH

    A follow-up to my earlier post: it seems like Epsom Salt works MUCH better in the bath than Dead Sea Salts. After posting, I even began taking hot baths with Epsom Salt and it disappeared much faster than in the lukewarm baths! It seems that the heat must open up the pores and expose the skin to the salt (specifically, the magnesium sulphate in Epsom Salt), which the virus seems to hate. When taking a hot bath, just make sure not to scrub his body or touch his spots to unaffected parts of his body.
    I stopped the coconut oil, but the baths work wonders. I’m down from hundreds of spots to nothing!
    Also, Morton makes an Epsom Salt lotion. This works a bit slower but it does not seem to spread it, and can be more convenient than taking a bath.
    Good luck to you! I hope this works as well for your son as it did for me!

  8. C.D.W

    Found out a week ago my son has this virus! Doc says up to two years. Also, I didn’t know what it was and put Hydrocortisone cream on it and apparently that is a major NO! It made his 5 bumps go to about 50 under his armpit. Going to try the Dead Sea Salt bath with Coconut oil and hope for the best. Good Luck to all!

  9. E.H.

    I don’t know if you read the comments about bathing in dead sea salts, but I found out about it from the site and tried it. It’s for my daughter. We had been battling it for ever, it seemed. The dead sea salts worked miracles! I highly recommend it! Bath in 2 cups of it each night for 30 minutes and you will immediately see results. My daughters are almost completely gone and we’ve been doing it a little over 2 weeks. I hope this helps! Please don’t be depressed about this, cheer up! Hopefully this is your answer!

  10. OH

    Hi! I was just diagnosed with molluscum a week ago and it’s been a serious bummer. My sister and I picked it up from an unsanitary waxing salon. SO BEWARE.
    It’s safe to say I will never wax again. My doctor prescribed the Aldara cream, but she said it could take up to four months for it to work! Plus it doesn’t stop them from spreading, so I’ve been using that and then on the nights when I don’t use that I’ve been using tea tree oil.
    My spots started as 12 and have now increased to twenty in just four days. I was just wondering how long the salt baths took for you to get rid of the lesions completely, and if you have had any re-occurrence of lesions since they cleared up! Thank you for this post! I know I haven’t had them long, but I already just want them to go away!

  11. OH

    Hi I was just diagnosed with molluscum and I have been using the tea tree oil for 4 days now. How long did it take for your son’s lesions to clear up using the tea tree oil?

  12. SH

    I am writing to try to prevent any unnecessary suffering I can by sharing what worked for me to get rid of the god-awful molluscum that has been plaguing me—in A WEEK.
    The short answer is this: bathing in Dead Sea Salts/Epsom salts each night (2 cups of salt, soak for at least 30 minutes) and then slathering my body in coconut oil infused with clove oil. I’ve been suffering from molluscum for 7 months—and spending hours each day for the past 3 months applying bandages soaked in Apple Cider Vinegar—and the bathing/coconut oil has rid me of dozens of spots within four days!!
    So PLEASE try it—it won’t hurt or sting like ACV, it won’t scar (it’s in fact really GOOD for your skin), the coconut oil soothes itching, and your suffering will finally be OVER.
    I read about the sea salts and coconut oil on this site–THANK YOU, J.B. and Lauren!!
    (Note: I only used tepid—not hot– water to bathe in because I was terrified it would spread the virus. I bathed my leg in tepid water for a week to make sure it wouldn’t spread before soaking my whole body in the tub. I was also scared that the coconut oil would spread the infection. Neither, thank God, did. I CAN’T SPEAK TO WHETHER BATHING IN HOT WATER WOULD SPREAD IT, THOUGH).
    Coconut oil has lauric acid in it which is anti-viral. I bought Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and added 10 drops of clove oil for each tablespoon of coconut oil (had to warm it in the microwave to make it spreadable). I also added 10 drops of something called “Thieves Oil” which has clove oil, cinnamon oil, lemon oil, and eucalyptus; this smelled great and the cinnamon oil seemed to improve the circulation.
    Meanwhile, internally, take Tagamet (Cimetidine), which will enhance T-Lymphocytic activity. I took 400mg 3 times a day. It definitely didn’t make my spots disappear, but it did keep them from reaching mature size. By the time I found the sea salt and coconut oil/clove oil treatment, I had dozens of small spots. (My derm froze the first set of spots—which were twice as big as pimples—and left scars. I don’t know why, but after she treated them, I found new spots popping up all over my body. But the Cimetidine seemed to keep them small; few ever developed a visible white core. I think the sea salt and coconut oil /clove oil worked so quickly because the Cimetidine kept the spots so small.)
    Also, I took Lactoferrin to enhance my immune system. I also took 10,000 IU Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin C, Oregano Oil (which has anti-viral activity) and Holy Basil; who knows whether they did anything.
    I have heard that there are four different strains of molluscum and that they look different and likely respond to different treatments. My mature molluscum (the first round) looked like really large pimples, not dimpled warts. This sea salt bath and coconut oil/clove oil moisturizing treatment worked wonders for these spots—and SO FAST!! I hope you try it because I want to spare you the months of misery I went through before I discovered this.

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