Molluscum contagiosum.

Just wanted to drop you a line and say a huge thank you. Initially I thought my four year old daughter was developing skin tags, but very quickly the lumps and bumps quickly developed all over her stomach, groin and legs.  After one got badly infected she was diagnosed by the GP with molluscum. He gave her antibiotics for the infection and said it was common virus and we should wait it out.

Not happy with the possibility that it could take 18 months (or longer) to clear on its own and seeing it spread like wildfire, I spent a long time looking on the Internet for a solution. Entirely sceptical, but willing to give anything a go rather than watch the distress it was causing, I used wheatgrass extract. I sprayed morning and night. After a week there was no real change, but it hadn’t become any worse either, around day 10 the molluscum very quickly started to crust over and dry out. At two weeks they were healing and flattening and now at week 4 all that is left are some red marks that are fading fast.
I could literally weep with relief – thank you so, so much. Photos attached – feel free to use.

R. R. Australia.

Molluscum contagiosum pre-wheatgrass extract.
Molluscum contagiosum pre-wheatgrass extract.
4 weeks later. All lesions have completely disappeared.
4 weeks later. All lesions have completely disappeared.

About molluscum in children

Molluscum contagiosum may be unsightly, but it is hardly a serious condition to either child or adult unless the lesions are interfered with by various physical “treatments”. It is a very common, contagious viral infection mostly affecting young children. (View adult molluscum testimonials)

These viral lesions appear as small, sometimes itchy raised spots which can occur anywhere on the body, but mostly on the face and upper body, armpits and behind the knees. Although the condition is harmless, molluscum can be unsightly and distressing to patient and carers alike. Sometimes the child is banned from public bathing areas because of it, which can itself be distressful.

How do children get molluscum?

The molluscum virus usually spreads by direct contact from person to person e.g. from family members or other infected children with whom they swim, play or bathe, or by sharing towels. The incubation period can vary between about 2 to 24 weeks. The condition itself, if left untreated will eventually disappear, but this could take up to 2 years or more.

How to treat molluscum

If possible, start with prevention. If a family member has the condition, avoid the sharing of baths, towels and close contact with other children. As any parent would know, this is not always easy to achieve.

Traditionally, there has been little in the way of effective treatments available. Medical advice and treatment can vary from “there’s no will disappear in a year or two”, to freezing with CO2, cauterizing, squeezing, pricking, cutting and burning the spots. Other “treatments” include benzyl peroxide, Betadine, and Burrow’s solution (aluminium acetate). Aldara (imiquimod) should not, in my opinion ever be used for treating molluscum. (Google side effects for more information). None of these methods are satisfactory, and some can be quite distressing to a young child and should be avoided as scarring can result. For example, this child treated with cantharone, a highly toxic substance.

I discovered that wheatgrass extract (which I use for many conditions) worked for molluscum in 1996 when one of my own children contracted the virus. More as an afterthought and not expecting it to work,  we applied wheatgrass extract daily to the lesions. To my surprise, in about four or five weeks, they completely disappeared. Since then, feedback from numerous parents and patients and in my own clinical experience shows it takes about 4 to 10 weeks to eliminate the spots.

Because the extract is very safe, (I often use it for treating oral burns etc.), it is ideal for treating infants and children – and side effects are rare. In fact, improvement of eczema as well as molluscum is often a bonus! Wheatgrass is also safe to use around the eyes. Apply a little with a cotton bud/Q-tip. – once on alternate days. Increasing the amount is unlikely to accelerate the healing process.

How does wheatgrass work?

Molluscum, being a virus, can not be cured by drugs. Wheatgrass however, is not a drug, it is a herbal extract which has been shown to be potent but safe. It appears to help “power-up” the patient’s immune system to get rid of the virus. Wheatgrass can also be safely applied anywhere on the body including the genital area.

How long will it take to work?

In the early stages, you won’t see much change. In fact the spots may spread further at the beginning of wheatgrass treatment, which is nothing to be concerned about. It just takes time for the bioactives in wheatgrass to destroy the virus, so try to persevere. Remember, molluscum is not harmful, just unsightly. So keep up the once on alternate days application and spread it over the spots. Under-treat rather than over-treat, and it doesn’t need to be rubbed in.

Around six weeks is the time to start looking for change, but this can vary. Often, at the beginning you may see increased numbers and spreading of the spots, redness, enlargement of some and perhaps some yellowish colouration. But these are not bad signs. Why? Because they show that the virus is REACTING to the extract and in the majority of cases, is beginning to give up the fight.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.