Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Molluscum

Yes. Evan's got it.

What, you may ask, is this "molluscum?" Well, apparently it's a pretty common, low-level virus whose only real symptom consists of a collection of raised, pox-like bumps on some part of the body. The full name of the virus is "molluscum contagiosum."

My first thought when Evan was diagnosed was
"hmmm . . . molluscum . . . sounds like some sort of exotic sea creature."

And when the doctor had asked if she'd been swimming shortly before the bumps appeared, I thought, "yep, it's from the sea all right."

But no. I was completely wrong. The molluscum, it seems, is in the wart family.

Ah, not nearly as romantic as I was thinking . . . more toad-like.


This leads us to the ailment's second name -- "contagiosum."

"Sooooo," I asked the doc, in as nonchalant a tone as I could muster, "I suppose this, um, molluscum, is . . .
uh . . . somewhat contagious?"

"Oh yes. Very."

Okay then. Immediately I thought back to the last time I'd shared a bath with my daughter-- when she was in that "horrible-fear-of-the-tub phase." I couldn't recall if the bumps were there at that time . . .

All righty then. "How does one treat the molluscum?"

"Well, there are a number of options. We can freeze the bumps with liquid nitrogen, treat them with an electric needle, scrape them off with a sharp instrument, or apply what we like to call 'beetle juice,' an acid that causes the bumps to blister."

Did I mention that these bumps were on Evan's bottom? And, did I also mention that I sat listening in absolute horror to this very soft-spoken pediatrician as she calmly described how she could get all medieval on my daughter's butt? That's right, she wanted to go after these buggers with a vengeance, because hey, they're in a very delicate region, one more prone to irritation and further infection.

"There is an alternative to topical treatment," continued the doc.

"Yes?" I looked up, hopefully.

"We can give her a systemic drug that can kick-start the immune system . . . get it to recognize this low-level virus, and attack it."

Okay now, most of the folks who read this blog will recognize the big red flag that appeared the moment this doc mentioned "kick-starting" the immune system.

No. Way.

"Well, I'm not too crazy about this option because, well, my son has type 1 diabetes, and since that's an autoimmune disorder, and we really don't know if Evan might develop it, I don't want to do anything that might stimulate her immune system."

"Well, then. Let's just stay with the topical treatments. Since she's so young, we can just apply a liquid that will encourage the bumps to dry up."

And so we did. Evan was a real trooper, laying across my lap as the doc dabbed each bump with a little liquid. It was all going so well, until she dabbed a particularly large, reddened bump. Evan began to cry.

It was at this point
the doctor informed me that the liquid she had just placed on my daughter's bottom would cause each little pock to blister, somewhat painfully, over the next several days.


And we were to re-apply in the next seven to ten days. (No. I don't think so.)

As I sit typing, Evan is curled in my lap, still whimpering from the pain.

And angry, larger-than-expected blisters have already formed on my little girl's bottom.

All I can say is:

"A pox on the molluscum!" and "on the doctor who treats it!"


Anonymous said...

I've never, EVER, heard of this before (not that its saying much)--- but it sounds TERRIBLE.

But let me say this: Evan is ADORABLE!

I love seeing these pictures. :)

Let us know how its fairing over there and keep everyones asses away! :)


Anne said...

We've had the molluscum. Here the custom is not to treat it unless it gets really bad. However, the bumps can take months to go away if you don't treat it.

My advice is to put a bandaid over the bumps that are about to burst. I think when they do, the fluid that is released can cause other bumps. At least that's the way it happened with my son. once we figured out the bandaid trick, the bumps started disappearing, no new ones appeared and now he's down to about 2. Good luck!


Kerri. said...

Sweet, bumpy behinded, simply adorable Evan. She's a beautiful little girl.

Her ass will be fine.

Everyone over at Six Until Me (um, me) is rooting for you guys.

Anonymous said...

hey hi, I am from India. My mom did suffer from molluscum and you won't believe it we spent a whopping sum every month scraping it off only to find it return. We then used Himalaya's PURIM (blood purifier) and Fusidin ointment costs Indian RS. 70/- probably a $ and a half and the molluscums are gone for good. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey My 4 year old son suffered with Molluscum for almost 2 years and finally I read on about a Phd Dr. who came up with this silver cream to treat the bumps. I am a Firefighter in New York City and had some Silverdene Ointment from a previous burn I had and allpied it to my son's bumps. Im telling you in 2 weeks they were GONE.
The cream caot 6.50 but you do need a perscription. Good Luck, Gary

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old son contracted this virus from other children who had it. However, I took him to the Dr after doing many hours of depressing research on line to only find out from both there is basically nothing you can do to stop these from running their course. My Son's Dr told me a story about the "Duct Tape Theory". Put duct tape on them and rip it off, over and over until the skin is so irritated that it realizes there is a virus there it needs to fight. Needless to say I was not going to rip duct tape off my 5 yr old son. It did gave me a thought of "RUBBING ALCOHOL". I felt I didn't have anything to loose. I started putting rubbing alcohol on these areas morning and night. Faithfully! PRAISE GOD!!! It has been 3 weeks and they are GONE. My Son did complain a few times that the sores burned but it was only for a moment. He is so happy his "bumps" are gone and I'm relieved!

Molluscum Free!

Anonymous said...

My 2 year old son has had molluscum for 3 weeks. Loads of spots all down his side. However it doesn't look like any of the pictures I have seen of MC. There is no dimple in the middle and no core and no sign of any bursting going on. Did anyone elses look like this?

m. drasler said...

our doctor wouldn't do any treatments on our 3 1/2 year old-but his aunt is a nurse and she recommended children's benadryl and 1% hydro cortisone cream. I gave 1 tsp of children's benadryl each night at bedtime and applied the cream. I also STOPPED giving my son baths or showers-I just washed his hands,face and feet each night. Noticeable healing the first day after-completely gone in a few weeks with No Pain! Thanks Aunt Theresa! I hope this can help someone else!

Susan said...

My young son had them on his back, stomach and under his arm pit area. The ones under his arm were the bad ones because they were spreading rapidly because of the friction. He played football & therefore the sweating & friction just seemed to make them worse. A co-worker suggested that I "pop" them to remove the seedlike infection and put Abreva (ointment that is bought over the counter - fever blister/herpes complex ointment - roughly $20 for a small tube but it didn't take much!) I popped the molluscums while wearing latex gloves (it was a little painful for my son - but he was okay) I then put peroxide on it to clean it. Then I put Neosporin on it & covered with band-aid. The next day is when I put the Abreva ointment on the areas and literally after about 4 - 5 treatments of the Abreva they were ALL gone! Susan

Anonymous said...

I tried an herbal remedy - didn't work. So, after reading these posts, I tried an experiment. On some I used a facial toner (like astringent) and then used the herbal. On some I used isopropyl alcohol to clean and then retin-A. The isopropyl alchohol and retin-A worked. Overnight, they were drying out and smaller.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter started getting these on her behind when she was about one year old… The pediatrician told us to ignore them and they would go away on their own. Over the next year, more bumps started appearing until she had about 15 of them. We took her to a dermatologist and went the beetle juice route. We had to hold her down kicking and screaming. I have a hard time believing that this treatment is painless, as I’ve never seen my daughter lose her mind like that! It was just awful. When we got home I came across this site and started reading about the tea tree oil. I also read some other posts that were horrible about the beetle juice; saying that it made the problem worse, etc. When we got home from the dermatologist, we waited about 3 hours and removed the bandages. The blisters were frightening and really terrible looking. I ran to the health food store and got Tea Tree Melaleuca body wash. We decided to stop taking baths (the virus apparently thrives in a wet environment) and do showers only, with the tea tree soap and a new towel each time. We would then put her to bed with no clothing, not even a diaper, and let the blisters air out overnight. I can’t say for sure if it was the beetle juice or the tea tree soap, but they are completely gone now. I’m going to assume it was probably a combination of both, but she has healed up perfectly and no new bumps have appeared. Even the 2 or 3 warts that the dermatologist wasn’t able to get to (because of the kicking and screaming) are gone. It's been about 3 weeks since we left the doctors office. Maybe we got lucky or maybe there is something to this, but I just thought I’d share our experience. Good luck!!

denise said...

My 12 yo son has the molluscum pox. I tried a "natural" ointment off the internet that you drop on each wart. At first it seemed like it was working and then about a week after we started this he broke out in a rash similar to eczema. Took him to a dermatologist today and they used the beetle juice. He was to shower off the beetle juice after two hours and thats when I heard him crying in the shower! They turned into huge blisters all over him and some had burst are bleeding. He feels miserable and looks horrible. The warts are on his arm, arm pit and side of his abdomen. I am feeling terrible for him. I don't know if he will be able to go to school because they look and feel so awful. I am hoping they scab soon and according to the doctor the scabs will fall off and hopefully be rid of this. I wish I could post pics so people could see how painful and ugly this is.

Anonymous said...

I am 27 year old female. I got the MC virus through the towel i used during exercising in my gym. Intiyally theere were only few but over 2 months i noticed the increse in number.
After consulting a dermatologist i found out about this virus. He has prescribed an oral capsule Minoz OD for 20 days (one each day) along with D'acne gel for my acne's and another ointment for MC.
I hope it helps. it's just 6 days since i strated the treatment.

Anonymous said...

I just read that the CDC reports that this condition affects around 7% of all kids. This means that in my kids' school, more than 15 kids have this? Why don't the doctors find a treatment that works? Pharma... are you listening? I would pay 'out of pocket' for something that was an FDA-approved medication with proven results ---

Look at us mamas being witch doctors, here! We are dismayed!

Anonymous said...

Both of my children 4 and 7 have this. My 4 yr old had more than my 7 yr old. My Md. too said to leave it alone and it would go away, that was almost 2 yrs ago. I finally decided to start poking them with a sterile needle, while my daughter is sleeping at night to try and start an immune response. I did get the one she started with to go away a few weeks ago. All was well, except that my 15yr old babysitter has now contracted it. I feel terrible because I thought and older child would not have to worry about getting it. I was not told about until 2 weeks later and she shaved and spread them up her legs. What a nightmare. I wish my MD would have been more proactive and educated me. I could have finished it before it started.

Liz said...

My 5 year old daughter got mulluscum within weeks of starting kindergarten. The Dr said to leave it alone and it will be gone in 6 months. Well, she is almost 8 now and they are still going strong.
They used to not itch or bother her, but now they are and they are getting 'angry/red'. We put a bandaid on them. But as of tonight I'm angry about how long and awful this mulluscum is and how the medical community seems to not think much about it.
I used some of my retin A on it and will check it tomorrow. I also have Melaleuca Tea Tree oil and ointment and will probably use that as it's not as harsh as retin A on her skin.
This stuff is infuriating. If this doesnot work she goes to MY derm. He's wonderful. (austin, TX_)

Steagallk said...

My 5 year old has had her mollescum for a year now and she started off with about 4 and now we are dealing with about 25. I first tried a homeopathic serum called Zymaderm for a couple months with not much luck. My pediatrician has her on Imiquiod oinment that we are to use 5 days a week for 6 weeks. They are on the back of her legs and a couple have moved to her bottom around her anus and are painful. It scared me that a couple had spread to her gential area and my pediatrician said that was normal. She call the bumps angry and they will spread before they go away. I am more freaked out by them than my daughter so I am hoping this works! Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was just diagnosed with it today.

I would be interested to hear how your daughter did with Molluscum after the treatment.

I have 5 nieces and nephews, all of whom have had it. One had it so bad he was covered in thousands of them.

They were all treated with the beetlejuice liquid. All of them were cleared up and have never come back. The one child with the worst case of thousands, was cleared of them in 2 weeks.

It may really suck (wish me luck with our treatments), but it sounds to me like it is worth a try. btw, one of the sisters is a physician.

Anonymous said...

My daughter started getting bumps about a week ago and a doc said it was molluscum. My nephews go it. One of them had it in what sounds like a pretty severe form. My other niece and nephew got it too. Due to all that my sisters went through, we were led to the beetle juice treatment as well - thank goodness.

My daughter only has 4-6 of them, but they have been treated a few days ago and are all turning color and not looking like they are progressing at all, nor is she getting any more.

With all of the kids, 6 in total, none of them were in pain at the time of application, nor the hours/days after. Perhaps it is painful the medicine touches the healthy skin, rather than just the bump? all 5 of the kids sound like they cleared up within 2 weeks and have never had a recurrence of it again. Hoping this is the case for my daughter. Good luck to all of you. It is not a nice thing to have... :P

atri said...

sBoth of my children, 4 and 6 years, have this crazy disease that feels like it will never end. My son probably has at least 100 of them now, and we tried th blistering stuff fast so they wouldn't spread. It didn't seem to work for my kids. My daughters seem to be going away, or at least not spreading, but my sons are awful. He has dry skin, so it itches and he just keeps spreading it. We would use the hydrocortison cream for his ecxema, and appearantly that type of cream weakens your immune system, and that is why he got tons of molluscum where I had applied the cream. All I can say is this sucks!

melissa said...

This was wonderful to find. My now-7-year old daughter developed molluscum so long ago we can't remember the beginning -- more than a year? They multiplied and irritated her to the point where she couldn't sit comfortably sometimes (on lower cheeks of her bum, also behind knees). Tried zymaderm -- it looked promising but didn't end up doing much. Bettle juice today -- yikes! Huge, angry blisters, and she was weeping at one point after a regiment of Tylenol and Motrin. Looks like there are a range of reactions. Beware. I wish we would've tried other homeopathic treatements before this, but for others it seems to work great. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

My 6 year old son has had this for about 6 months now. We took him to the dermo about a month ago and he he said it is the worst case of molluscum he has EVER seen! Poor thing has at least 250 spots on his back and down his legs. Dermo recommended beetlejuice. He also mentioned that children with eczema are more likely to develop the bumps if they come into contact with the virus because their skin is already 'compromised.' While the beetlejuice caused ugly blisters, they did not seem to bother him at all (either during the application or in the weeks after). We have returned for one additional treatment, and he is already down to about 20!

One thing to mention for others who have eczema and are combating both issues at the same time. Our dermo also said not to use the cortisone cream since it can actually reduce the efficiency of the skin's immune response. Instead, we run petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the affected areas every night and this seemed to really stop the spread while we waited for the other treatments to work! Just make sure to wash your hands afterwards!

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old daughter got molluscum this past summer from a fellow playmate whose mother did not bother to take any precautions and even let her child bath with mine. Needless to say it made me angry because it was totally avoidable. We did the beetle juice treatment and it was very painful for her. But only for the first 24 hours. Which is enough to totally break your heart. But needless to say we started treatment in December and went to the dermatologist 4 times every 3 weeks and now she is bump free and no scarring.
We are just keeping our fingers crossed no more pop up. I just can't imagine waiting years for them to go away and possibly infecting another kid.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Dr. today to find out what it was, and yes, it is molluscum. Terrible name, terrible little bumps! Dr. put the bettle juice on just two bumps, can't believe how big the blisters are tonight. It has been very painful and a bit frightening for my child to see such a huge blister. Luckily there are only about 25 total and hoping we caught it early enough to keep it from spreading or from passing on to others. If this doesn't work, I will try some of the other remedies I have read about. I didn't know there were other options. Thank you all for sharing, it is great to learn from others experiences.

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old daughter developed a few mollescum bumps several months ago and her pediatrician just casually said that it can take months, and months, and months before the immune system recognizes it and then fights it. After several weeks, my daughter starting in with the itching and was in tears several nights in a row because they were so itchy. I took her to a pediatric derm. doctor who, also casually, just said that they see this all of the time and prescribed a medication called condolyx, to be applied for 3 days in a row and 4 days off, then for 3 days in a row and 4 days off and she drew me a nice little picture of the bumps and how they will begin to decrease and become flat. Sounds good, Right? WRONG. I put the condolyx on one time and my daughter immediately had a reaction that looke like hives all around them. Her skin was all red and inflamed. I waited a few days and kept an eye on them and then they started to blister (which is a side effect and supposedly part of the healing process). But in this blistering stage, two of them became infected with staph. I had to take her to the pediatrician, where they lanced them, squeezed them and then put her on an oral and topical antibiotic for ten days. She was screaming in horrible pain. We did the protocol and her spots sort of healed up. She's ended up spreading them due to some of them being extremely itchy. And two weeks after that infection, she developed new ones that became infected, had to be lanced, squeezed, and back on oral and topical antibiotics. And now, just this week, she's developing eczema patches on her elbows that are migrating down her arms. She has Type 1 diabetes, to boot. Back to the pediatrician today, again. I'm losing faith in the docs really quickly. I have three other children, too, and just can't do this with them too. I've been in tears, my daughters been in tears. I'm at my wits end and finally found this page. I'm putting the topical antibiotic on the spots, covering them with band aids and using Cerave lotion on the rest of her. I'm at my wits end. Like some other posts, it would have been nice to know about this as part of childhood. Thank you to everyone who has posted. We have to be our own advocates for our kids.

Anonymous said...

Hi I know this stuff stinks. I have 17 of them. 7 up my right arm, 1 on my thigh, 2 on my right leg, 5 on my left leg and 2 on my stomach!!! I choose beetle juice cause I hate needles and do not like the cold, not an Eskimo. Know getting it oh sucks! It hurts so bad. And I am only 12. It burns I am only on day 2.

Cassie said...

My daughter hada few bumps for more than a year on her bottom. Suddenly it started spreading wildly, down thighs and then knees and elbows. The old bumps started to get inflamed and would burst. When I learned it was a virus, I realized that the fluid in the bumps was what spread it, so I started putting band aids on them. But the skin was tender and removing the band aids was very painful.

I bought some Liquid Bandage and started applying it on all the bumps, new or ripe. Ir stopped the spread. It smells like the bad chemicals in nail, though. I then talked to an integrative doctor who told me to use liposomal Vitamin C, which is directly viralcidal, and alcohol-free aloe vera. Maybe it was lipospherical; she sold it in her office. Now the molluscum is in retreat. I've also been giving 1/2 a Zyrtec each night (she's 8), which controls itching in her sleep and doesn't have dependency issues like using Benadryl long term.

Kerry and Aldo said...

We took Lila to get the Beetle treatment. Worst mistake we have ever made in our lives. The blisters went completely out of control and have basically removed the 1st layer of skin around her ENTIRE BUTT AND VAGINA. They are ENORMOUS, over silver dollar size. They have burst and have caused her severe and excruciating pain. We will NEVER allow them to touch her with that stuff again.

Anonymous said...

We have been battling the molluscum for about 2 years on my 3 year old daughter. She had 8 ( of the over 100) bumps treated yesterday. They are red and starting to blister. But be aware that as the virus runs its course naturally you will see that they will become inflamed, blister open and then eventually crust over and dry to heal on their own. The beetle-juice just induces this process early so that the others may start the " blister/drain/dry/heal" process on their own.

Unknown said...

My 2 year old got the bumps which spread from her arm to her side and even worse onto her crotch area. It looked terrible. Tried retin A, some fake med off the Internet, then finally got to see dermatologist doc in Stanford who put this beetle juice. We wiped it off her after an hour. It didn't seem to hurt until one treatment which we wiped it off after 2hrs which was too long. Blisters were minor when we wiped it off early. She had over 40 bumps. We had 3 treatments, each time put medicine on 5-7 arm bumps. This was worth it as all the other bumps disappeared.
My older daughter has 4 bumps which have refused to disappear as we can't do the same treatment as they are on her face. Sigh!

Unknown said...

My 2 year old got the bumps which spread from her arm to her side and even worse onto her crotch area. It looked terrible. Tried retin A, some fake med off the Internet, then finally got to see dermatologist doc in Stanford who put this beetle juice. We wiped it off her after an hour. It didn't seem to hurt until one treatment which we wiped it off after 2hrs which was too long. Blisters were minor when we wiped it off early. She had over 40 bumps. We had 3 treatments, each time put medicine on 5-7 arm bumps. This was worth it as all the other bumps disappeared.
My older daughter has 4 bumps which have refused to disappear as we can't do the same treatment as they are on her face. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

we just washed off the beetle juice from behind her knee about 20 lumps leaving bleeding open blisters she has beautiful brown skin that scars easily. now what? vaseline and cover when she goes to school also she has been in gymnastics a few months do we tell them? she is 11 and handling it but sure looks nasty. any suggestions? ruth

Anonymous said...

My daughter had the "M" disease for about two years from age 6 to 8. During that time we kept her covered and did not allow her to swim in fear that she would give it to another child. We tried everything to get rid of it, and finally went the "bug juice" route. It took four treatments to get the immune system working enough to kill all 50 of the bumps. Yes folks, she had 50 all up in her private regions and it was terrible. Now my son is 11 and he has it. His sister has been "m" free for a year and a half so he has somehow gotten it from another child. I am headed straight to the doctor for the "bug juice."

Anonymous said...

Let me just say the Beetle Juice may cause it to blister and be sore for a very small period of time... but these things were spreading like wild fire on her legs and behind... Unfortunately we couldnt keep my stepdaughters 5 yo scratching habits at bay after she was in bed. We waited 6 months too long and she had another 30 or so. Just go see someone and get rid of them when you first see them, we should have never listened to the pediatrician. Her dermatologist had us slather her in the heavy Aquafor cream and it did wonders for keeping her skin soft thru the healing process. If you are in doubt, just dont wait.

Anonymous said...

Don't ever use the "bug juice". A PA told use to try it and we ended up in hospital. Several doctors I know say they won't use it ever!

Anonymous said...

There are so many better cures for molluscum. One wonders why parents would inflict battle juice on their children. Application of apple cider vinegar is very common, clove oil, and newer natural derivatives like Eugen Oil are all being used to successfully treat molluscum.

Anonymous said...

My almost 7 year old daughter has had it for several months now. The doc gave her an ointment to use 3 times daily. They are starting to scab up now. My dad had a liver transplant a month ago and she cant go around him because they say she's contagious. How long before she able to go around him?

Anonymous said...

I see no one has commented on here in quite some time but if anyone is still fighting this horrible virus here are some facts...It is highly contagious and adults CAN get it (Some Dr tell people that adults don't get it). My 3yr old had it and passed it to my husband and I because she slept in our bed which we stopped once ahe was diagnosed. Now we're both fighting it and it takes adults much longer to get rid of it than children so that sucks. Apple cider vinegar does work and fast if you use it full strength just put it on a piece of cotton and tape it directly on each bump but it may burn the skin. Coconut oil also works when apllied either directly on the bump or on a bandage and left on the bump, change these bandages every night and reapply oil every change. It cleared most of my daughter's up in a week each some took longer. Do not let your child take a bath and keep showers as short as possible.Take vitamins or whatever you can to boost your immune system. Do not repeat clothing wear once and wash in hot water. Use towels only once and wash in hot with bleach. Change and wash sheets in hot water once a week. I hope this helps I'm praying for anyone that has to deal with this curse of a virus as we continue our fight against it.

Anonymous said...

We used apple cider vinegar and it worked, but you have to put it on twice a day and cover with a bandaid for about 7-14 days. It stinks too, so might be an issue. I just put a drop on the bandage part of the bandaid and put it on the wart.

Unknown said...

My 5year old daughter is in agonizing pain right now. She was just treated with the miracle drug "beatlejuice". She has a complete outbreak...underarms, buttox, abdominal area, chest, inner thigh, neck, name it she has a cluster everywhere on her body. I know the doctor said this ttestament would sting a little or burn until it is rineed off in the shower (which we have done), however she is still in agonizing pain. She never complains always happy go lucky..but tonight she is crying and screaming like never before because of this treatment. I feel awful for her bc I don't know what to do to help her and I can not and will not watch her go though this intense treatment. She is laying straight as a board in the bed saying she can't move her arm,neck or legs. Cries out while sleeping bc she can't seem to get in a deep sleep due to pain. How long will this pain last for her? She has had one other treatment prior to this one ...the doc only gave juice to the front legion of her body but now that we have gone back the second time around it is much much worse. I stumbled across this article in search of finding something or anything to help ease her pain. I talking she yells and screams if I move to get out of bed bc she moves a little and it hurts that bad!!! The only thing that actually helped just a tad was when she was in the shower rinsing them off, she took the shower head and rinsed each one and she said that seemed to help relieve some of the burn. Anyone , please help if you know of anything we can try within the next day, I will not have her in pain like this all day tmrw or we will March ourselfs right back to that doctor first thing in the morning. She is so scared bc she says she can't move her arm. This is a nightmare..