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.