How we got rid of Molluscum Contagiosum

*This article was first published in 2013. It has been re-published as it is one of the most-read articles on this website*

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

As the name suggests Molluscum Contagiosum is a highly contagious viral skin infection, commonly known as water warts.

Molluscum Contagiosum occurs most frequently in children and is spread from person to person by touching the affected skin or a surface with the virus on it. So if someone in the family is affected, keep their towels, washcloths, toys and clothing separate to avoid spreading it amongst the others in the household.

We’ve experienced this frustrating infection with one of our children in the past.

Scratching the spots/papules can release the virus increasing its spread, both to others and to other areas of the skin not yet affected. Try and discourage those affected from doing this, although this is easier said than done.

As the virus prefers warm and moist conditions, it is possible Molluscum Contagiosum could be spread by sharing swimming pools, baths or saunas, however this remains unproven. It is more likely that the virus is spread by sharing towels and swimsuits rather than through water.

What does Molluscum contagiosum look like?

kids skin conditions

Usually, the only symptom of Molluscum Contagiosum is several small, raised, firm bumps (papules) on the skin. These are not generally painful, but can be itchy, red, swollen or slightly sore.

As mentioned, one of the common names for Molluscum Contagiosum is ‘water-warts’, which is a good way of describing its appearance. It also looks somewhat like small raised blisters with dome-like papules of between 2mm and 6mm in diameter, which have a shiny or lustrous surface and are often grouped together.

The spots often have a depressed or wrinkled (umbilicated) centre. The affected skin is often of normal colour, but sometimes can appear slightly red or lighter, particularly on darker skins.

In contrast with classical warts, Molluscum contagiosum is not usually found on the palms of hands or soles of feet. A yellowy-whitish mass can be squeezed out of the centre (however, this is not advised as this substance contains the virus, is highly infectious, and can rapidly increase the spread of the spots).

Where does Molluscum contagiosum affect?

mollu dab

The papules are usually distributed over the face, trunk, limbs and armpits in children.

According to our GP this is very common in children and many will be affected by it. I had done quite a lot of research about it and was convinced that was what it was on one of my son’s legs but it was good to have the GP confirm it.

The spots were concentrated on the backs of the knees, bar the odd spot on his torso and one randomly near his eyebrow.

How can it be treated?

My research had led me to Mollu Dab and I ordered some of this directly. I managed, (after 6 telephone calls) to get one prescription for this from the GP but this was hard work. They are very reluctant to prescribe this at all. When I had a look on a couple of forums this had been the standard experience of many parents across the UK. GPs will often just say it will clear on its own in 12-18 months.

After using the Mollu Dab for about two months we seemed to be getting somewhere and the spots began to pop on their own. This however, was probably the worse stage of all as they were incredibly painful.

Do not use the Mollu Dab on broken skin! The sensation is a burning one and your child will not thank you.

After the spots had got to this stage we stopped the Mollu Dab and purchased some Dead Sea Salts. We then made baths up every night with the salts in and he bathed in them for around 20 minutes.

We followed this up with applying loads of Sudocrem. You really can’t use enough of the salts or the cream so apply liberally!

After about three weeks of this the spots had dried up and disappeared. We are all very thankful for this and pleased to see the back of them.

There is some scarring left which is can be distressing at first, although my son was never bothered by this. I applied hemp oil everyday for around six months to try and reduce this and gradually the marks began to fade. These have now completely gone. 

Have you had any experience with this? Let us know how you managed it. One of my readers has let me know that when she took her children off dairy products the spots went away, so this is also worth a go if you are struggling to get rid. There are now other treatments available as well, with more and more products coming onto the market to tackle this.

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    1. Moludab worked for us, however I used it morning and night plus I covered my child’s spots with either bandages or plasters to help stop the spread. All in all from using Moludab to the last spots disappearing was about 5/6 weeks. My youngest had them for 5 months b4 I started treatment and they showed mo sign of shifting. My eldest then caught them which is when I sought treatment. If the solution stings a bit then you know it’s working. Def worth the hassle but you must keep up with the daily treatment. I did bath my boys but didn’t use salts or cream but I can def see how this would help.

    2. Hi the Molludab instructions suggest not using beyond 14 days, but although many spots have healed and disappeared there are many still visible. Should we persevere???

    1. Hiya, my daughter has this and we’ve just started with Molludab. However I feel when I’m dabbing them that nothing is going on as I can’t see any wetness if you get me? Any advice please?

  1. MC has arrived in our house! My son (4) has about 10 small spots on the back of his leg in being extra vigilant I think my daughter (6)has the beginnings of about 10 on her face and one small one on the back of her leg. I’m so worried that they’ll both get them bad on their faces.

    I ordered molludab from Boots and have been using it for a couple of weeks on my son and have just started it on the one on my daughters leg. It doesn’t really seen to be doing much at the moment. New ones seem to still be emerging. Although I was expecting it to work after a few days…

    1. It takes a while – that was our experience anyway 🙁 Felt like forever. Once they started to pop I applied loads of Sudocrem which heeled them and also prevented scaring – good luck!

    2. Yes carefully remove the funnel from the top of the bottle. It’s then much easier to get a drop on the dispenser wand.

  2. Hello

    I have stumbled across your page and I find what you say very interesting. My son 9, got this darn thing in 2018 and it took ages to disappear. However, I took him off dairy for another reason and actually didn’t notice that they all disappeared.

    My 5 year-old daughter currently has it (2020) and I have done the same. It appears to be rapidly making the spots die. If you can I highly recommend reducing or taking away all dairy products.

    Just my experience as a mom of 2 sufferers.

  3. This page has been a godsend!! My son (3) has had them for nearly 2 years.they keep spreading over hes body i keep getting told they will go but only seem to be getting bigger and more sore aswell as spreading rapidly. The advise is amazing on this page considering all i have got from my dr is “they will go, cant do nothing about them” THANK YOU!!!

  4. My little girl (6) has had them for over a year now. The last few weeks the spots have become very angry looking and pus filled, almost as if they’re about to pop! The doctors advice is the same as everyone else’s on here! I will definitely invest in some bath salts and mollu dab! Thank you for the great post.
    Btw – we’re all vegan so no dairy for us, just thought I’d mention that.

      1. My daughter has had them for a couple of months but I never new what they was, until a few days ago. I am so worried they are going to spread to her face as she is already worried about them on her legs and arms. We have just brought some moulludab so I am hoping this will work as we’re in the uk and can’t seem to get it any where.

        I am going to try the bath salts and sudocream. Has anyone else got any suggestions?

  5. We have used bacon fat on our son’s molluscum. It reduces the size in hours and it’s gone (without pain) in a day or two.

      1. At the moment my daughters legs and inner thighs are covered in mc. She also suffers from eczema so the itch is annoying her so much and she can’t stop scratching. I bought molludab and only used it 3 times as I was frightened it would do more harm. She did also find it quite nippy. I’m demented trying to help her. I’m bathing her in oats for the itch and giving her piriton.
        Should I be running sudocream on the spots now? A lot of them are red and looking as though they could pop too. I think it’s spread to her arms and ankle area.
        Would I be best using bandages?

        1. Hi Carla, This sounds terrible for you both. I’m not a medical practitioner so I can’t give you advice, just share what worked for us. The molludab does sting but is very effective. Once the spots looked like they were about to pop we used dead sea salts in the bath and sudocream once dry. This helped to dry them out. You can get dead sea salts specifically for eczema too.

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