Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection which is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus. In adults it is a sexually transmissible infection as it can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, during sexual contact. An individual person can also spread them around their body by scratching, especially in areas where the skin is broken. Occasionally, bathing, towels and other objects can spread molluscum contagiosum.
Molluscum contagiosum in children is also very common infection and results from close contact with other children who have the same infection.
Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum may cause small lumps to appear on the skin of the thighs, genitals and abdominal area. It usually does not affect other parts of your body.
- The lesions are painless but may be slightly itchy
- Often they have a tiny central indentation
- They can be numerous and cover thighs, genital and abdominal area
- They will eventually resolve without treatment (are ‘self-limiting’) within a few months.
Causes of Molluscum contagiosum
- You can get molluscum contagiosum by touching the lumps on the skin of an infected person. Children can get the virus during normal play with other children.
- The virus can survive on surfaces that have been touched by the skin of an infected person. Therefore, it is possible to contract the virus by handling towels, clothing, toys, or other items that have been contaminated.
- Teens and adults are more likely to become infected for this, through sexual contact. You can also become infected during contact sports that involve touching bare skin, such as wrestling or football.
- If a person has this condition, they can spread the infection throughout your body. You can also spread this virus from one part of your body to another by touching, scratching, or shaving a bump and then touching another part of your body.
Home remedies for Molluscum contagiosum
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is an effective remedy for molluscum contagiosum. It is rich in antiviral properties; it helps kill the virus responsible for this infection. It also penetrates into the skin quickly and eliminates the source of the infection.
- Soak a cotton ball in raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar liquid, apply it on the affected area. Cover the area with a cotton bandage and leave it on overnight. In the next morning, remove the bandage and wash the area with lukewarm water. Repeat this once daily for a few weeks. If the apple cider vinegar liquid is irritating to the skin, dilute it with an equal amount of water.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antiviral agent. When it is applied topically, it penetrates the skin and fights with the molluscum contagiosum virus.
- Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil. Apply it on your skin where the lumps appear. Repeat this procedure for 3 or 4 times daily for quick results.
- Alternatively, you can mix 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture on the affected areas. Leave it on for a two hours before rinsing the area with warm water. Repeat once or twice daily for a few weeks.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
This is another highly effective remedy to combat molluscum contagiosum is grapefruit seed extract.
Grape seed extract has very strong antimicrobial properties and is believed to be effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral agents.
- Add 4 or 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract in 1 teaspoon of water in. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and dab it on the affected skin. Cover with a bandage and leave it on for 5 to 7 hours. Repeat twice daily. Follow this treatment for 1 week to help the papules dry up.
- You can also mix 10 drops of Grapeseed extract in 5 ounces of water and consume it at least 3 times daily for a few weeks.
Duct Tape Occlusion
If you have skin lumps, whether it is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus or any other reason, duct tape can help get rid of them.
It is one of the easiest as well as effective home remedies for molluscum contagiosum. Duct tape prevents the affected skin of oxygen, which in turn helps kill the virus.
- Keep duct tape over the affected area and leave it on overnight.
- Replace the duct tape the next morning.
- Repeat as needed.
- Use this remedy on non-hairy areas.
Always talk to your pediatrician before using these home remedies to ensure you don’t cause greater harm. If you keep your child’s skin clean and dry and encourage your child to practice the preventive measures, and the infection should not come back.