Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection which can occur at any age, the greatest incidence occurs in children. See Dermnet NZ for particulars.
Recently the efficacy of duct tape was compared to cryotherapy in the treatment of common warts. We opted to try duct tape occlusion in the treatment of recurrent molluscum contagiosum. This is the report on one case -- it may not be applicable to you or your child, but it is worth trying if you want to proceed with a safe inexpensive approach.
Duct tape was cut to the size of each lesion and applied after the patient bathed and towel dried. It was reapplied after each bath or if it fell off. After 3 weeks of therapy, most of the lesions were crusted over. Occlusion therapy continued for 2 months. By the end of therapy the lesions had disappeared. This treatment was very well tolerated, with no reported pain or irritation. Compared to topical salicylic acid or glycolic acid therapy minimal scarring occurred.
The use of duct tape occlusion therapy for molluscum contagiosum has several advantages over conventional treatment. Treatment is nondestructive and painless or
minimally painful. Duct tape is widely available and affordable compared to the costs of traditional over-the-counter and prescription medications. The tape is applied at home, obviating office visits. Molluscum contagiosum is self- limiting and can remit spontaneously. However, when lesions persist, the use of duct tape occlusion may be a
more acceptable, nontoxic treatment option, especially for young children.
This was adapted from a letter in the medical literature by:
MARK S. LINDAU, M.D.
MYRNA Y. MUNAR, PHARM.D.