Health Education

Warts and Molluscum

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What are Warts and Mulluscum?

Warts and molluscum are viral infections of the skin. Just as any child can get a viral infection that affects their breathing (respiratory virus) or their gut (GI virus), it is possible to be infected with a skin virus that causes thickening of the skin with a locally painful center (wart) or blister like areas that spread (molluscum). If the infection is on the sole of the foot, it is called a plantar’s wart because that is the “plantar” surface of the foot.

What is the treatment for warts and molluscum?

Because they are viral infections, warts and molluscum will go away on their own but this can take many months or years. There are optional treatment as well. Small warts and molluscum anywhere but on the face respond well to treatment with Canthacur Plus. This product is the purified venom of the blister beetle (Google “blister beetle” for more info). Blister beetles kill their prey by injecting them with this venom that causes them to blister. Some bright scientist discovered that if you place Canthacur Plus on a wart or a molluscum and leave it on for 4-6 hours, it causes a blister to form that destroys the skin virus. Multiple treatments may be necessary when there is multiple molluscum or microscopic ones that grow over time. The only side effect of significance is that sensitive skinned children may sustain a burn locally if the Canthacur is not washed off in the appropriate amount of time. The best part is that there is no pain at the time of treatment and you can give ibuprofen prior to the onset of any expected pain.

Molluscum Rx and Gentian Violet are other treatment options that we have available in our office to try as well. Both are painless topical applications. Molluscum on the face and warts that are unresponsive to our treatments are usually best treated by dermatologists. Schedule an appointment if you would like to further discuss treatment options for your child’s wart or molluscum.