Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin rash that looks like a lot of tiny warts and it is caused by a virus (aptly named the molluscum contagiosum virus). It is spread by skin to skin contact (yes, your child can get it at day care).
The incubation period (how long it takes from the time of contact until the bumps appear) is 2- 7 weeks and the rash can last for up to 6 months or longer. It is no longer contagious when the bumps are gone.
Wikipedia and Medscape (among many others) have plenty of information on diagnosis and treatment. I am quite surprised that no literature exists that links this skin condition to ASD, but it feels as there are lots of patients in our practice who do suffer from this (itching, discomfort, infections, bleeding, not to mention it looks alarming and it’s contagious). Perhaps it is because ASD patients suffer from autoimmunity, and so viral infections are more likely.
Treatments involve ‘burning’ the lesions with chemicals, extreme cold, various skin medications, herbal medications, lasers, surgery and oral preparations. Honestly, I have not found any one treatment to work better than another, and dermatologists seem no better than parents at knowing what to do. With that in mind, I have one Mom in our practice who has had a fair amount of experience in this arena, and her blog might be helpful to our readership:
Treating Molluscum Contagiosum:
Our Mini Saga by RCB
First I tried zymaderm: http://molluscum-contagiosum.net. Good pix on this site, so it helps to identify if this is indeed what your child has. It is cheapest to purchase one vial from www.vitacost.com, which worked well for one daughter, and eliminated it. But, it just controlled it for the other child, and although it didn’t eliminate it, it appeared that it prevented spreading (as in, if I stopped using it, the virus continued to spread).
I used this protocol throughout: .5 -1 C vinegar and 1-2 tbsp bleach in bath water. This controlled the secondary bacterial related infection as well as not sharing towels, changing towels aft each use, changing underwear 2x per day and PJ bottoms everyday, washing all items in hot water, plus bleach (I tried to use whites), if possible.
I also tried the following:
Homeopathic thuja – traditional treatment for warts
Tried: tea tree oil (be careful you are not applying the strait concentrate, it will burn)
Tried: apple cider vinegar directly/overnight w/bandaids
Tried: homeopathic sulfer – a purging remedy
Tried: aloe gel
Tried: monostat-type cream, a yeast related therapy, as this virus can be associated with an overabundance of yeast
Tried: immunity boosting items, including probiotics and vitamins
Another suggestion, which seems to work for some types of this condition, and possibly adult molluscum (which is often STD related) is expressing the extremely contagious “white” center, (sorry to be graphic here…) like “popping” a pimple, and using alcohol or tea tree oil, but this didn’t work for my child’s lesions (the centers couldn’t be expressed).
The biggest nightmare? We finally broke down and went to the dermatologist, who treated about 15 of the lesions with blister inducing treatments. Couldn’t send our child to school, she couldn’t even sit on the potty from all the painful blisters. Those lesions were treated, but the treatment has left scars, didn’t treat the root of the problem, and the virus didn’t go away. There are several other conventional suggestions we didn’t try because I was nervous about immuno-suppressive treatments, but we would have tried them if I hadn’t found the right remedy.
What FINALLY worked was… Sovereign Silver first aid gel! I had read that colloidial silver taken internally worked, but before I tried that, I got this gel (in desperation) from Whole foods. It works great for cuts, too. It contains homeopathic argentum metallicum (never heard of it in traditional homeopathy), in a base of silver-related items. I believe my success with this gel is as a result of my daughter’s individual constitution, and I just hit on the right remedy for her. Go figure.
Doctors tell a medically-related joke that, if you don’t treat MC, it will go away in about 6 weeks, but if you DO treat it, it will take about a month-and-a-half. This Mom’s journey might help a bunch of patients, it seems inexpensive and safe, and I would suggest giving it a try. As always, I am eager to hear other advice and I would be happy to post any patient experiences that will add to the knowledge.
I have found this EmedicineHealth webpage to provide an interesting review of possibly useful medicines that have been reported.