Before I continue I want to give a little background information about Molluscum Contagiosum and about my family’s experience with it. I want to emphasize that I am not an expert on Molluscum Contagiosum, I am not a doctor or a dermatologist. I am simply a concerned mother with a child who has had Molluscum Contagiosum. If you suspect that you or your child(ren) has Molluscum Contagiosum, I highly recommend that you see a doctor to get confirmed that it is in fact Molluscum Contagiosum. I also advise that you ask your doctor questions, make a list before you go, and then if you feel comfortable with it….consider Apple Cider Vinegar (see more information below).
The following is from WebMD:
Now, Web MD says that the Molluscum Contagiosum bumps usually go away by themselves within 6 months, but other sources mention up to 2 – 3 years, and our own doctors and dermatologist said up to 2 years as well. My child had Molluscum Contagiosum for more than 1 1/2 years, and the amount of bumps did not appear to slow down.
My family’s experience with Molluscum Contagiosum:
One of my sons got his first Molluscum bump about 1 1/2 years ago. My husband and I did not think anything of it, and we had never heard of Molluscum Contagiosum. The Molluscum bump was on his belly, and it looked similar to a very large pimple or a wart of some sort. All of a sudden he had two bumps, and when the third bump showed up we took him to the doctor.
The doctor said not to worry, the bumps would go away by themselves. He might get more, but he might not, and the alternative treatments were not good. She mentioned freezing, cutting and extremely expensive creams, and none of the treatments were considered a cure.
We went home a bit confused, but reassured by our son’s doctor that it was not contagious, and that he could go to school without any problems. The doctor even said she would write us a letter, if we needed it.
About six months later the bumps were spreading rapidly, and we returned to the doctor. This time we saw a different doctor, who gave us a referral to a dermatologist.
We then saw the dermatologist, who did not have much more information to give. At this point I had done some Internet research, and I therefore thought I knew which questions to ask. The dermatologists confirmed that Molluscum Contagiosum is indeed contagious, as the name implies, and that we should make sure that the Molluscum Contagiosum was covered by clothing. He was the third doctor to let us know that our son could take swimming lessons this summer. He gave us a prescription for a very very expensive cream ($200+ for a small tube), said we should only get it, if the insurance covered, and even then it would only help speed up the process of the Molluscum bumps disappearing – it would still take six months for the bumps to go away.
Of course the insurance did not pay for the expensive cream, and we let some more time go by. I tried covering some of the bumps with bandages to prevent my son from scratching and then spreading them even more. I was unsuccessful, and soon my son had a rash on his arms, all over his torso, down below and his legs. Not even shorts and a t shirt could cover the Molluscum Contagiosum rash any more.
This is when I began freaking out, because how could he take swimming lessons, and what would other kids say if they saw the rash. What if our other kids got the Molluscum Contagiosum? My husband and I got to the point, where we were about to purchase this expensive cream on the prescription.
That night I simply could not go to sleep, I wanted to get my hands on this cream. I was a desperate mother! Now, what does a desperate mother do in the middle of the night, when she is worried for her child? I, of course, went on the Internet, but contrary to my past research, I did not look for the regular medical research and medical information sites. I decided to look for natural remedies for Molluscum Contagiosum.
I am a big believer in traditional medicine, but I also know from my own experience with medicine and different ailments that sometimes there are are natural alternatives. My husband grew up in Jamaica, and it was actually something he said that reminded me of the natural option.
I hit the jackpot….after seeing several websites, where I read about other people’s experiences with Molluscum Contagiosum, with the negative reactions from the very expensive cream (which I will not mention by name. If you have Molluscum Contagiosum you have probably already heard about it). Then I came to the three magic words APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.
I was puzzled, I was excited, and I was skeptical – could… something as simple as apple cider vinegar actually be the treatment, the cure that we had been looking for – for so so long? After more than a year of dealing with my son’s Molluscum Contagiosum, I was ready to walk to the 24 hour drugstore in search for apple cider vinegar, but I talked myself out of it realizing that they might not have it.
I was so excited that I woke up my husband at 4 a.m. to let him know about what I had read. The next morning the first thing I did was run to Publix and get the apple cider vinegar. When I told my son that we might have found something that would help get the bumps away, I could see the immediate relief in his face. I was careful with not being too optimistic. I wanted my son to give it a try, but I also did not want him to get false hope.
The Molluscum Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment:
That night I followed the careful instructions of other parents, who had written about theirs and their children’s experience with Molluscum Contagiosum and apple cider vinegar.
There were two options, and they could be done together or separately.
1) Dip a small cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, apply it directly on top of the bump, and put bandages over to keep it in place. Do this at night before bedtime, and let the child sleep with it until the next day. *If you are having problems using regular bandages, this 3M soft cloth surgical tape has been recommended for use with the direct cottonball treatment by several moms here at FIF.
2) Put about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in the baby bathtub (About 7 cups for a full-sized bathtub), and let your child sit in it for a while. Do this every night, until the Molluscum bumps disappear. Make sure the entire Molluscum affected area is covered.
My son first took a bath in our small baby bathtub from IKEA, and I added 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the bath water. After he was done with the bath, I applied cotton balls dipped in apple cider vinegar directly to about 10 of his bumps. I was careful to not put it on those bumps that he had been scratching in, because any open wounds made the ACV sting horribly.Some of the spots with the apple cider vinegar cotton balls made him uncomfortable, and by 11 p.m., he woke up screaming because they were hurting him. I took a couple of the cotton balls off, but I let some sit until the next morning.
When he woke up the next morning, we got our first positive surprise in our entire experience with Molluscum Contagiosum. The bumps that had been covered with the apple cider vinegar cotton balls all night were definitely changing. There were some mushy stuff coming out of the middle, and some were turning white in the middle as well.
We repeated this three nights, but only with a couple of bumps, as it was hurting my son. Then after three nights, we decided to just have the apple cider vinegar baths each night, and some days my son even got two baths because he asked for it.
The results were remarkable, and soon the bumps began disappearing. Little by little we saw a phenomenal transformation. After about two weeks my son had no more bumps left, and some of them had turned into small scars.
After a year with Molluscum Contagiosum
|Molluscum Contagiosum after 2 weeks of apple cider vinegar treatments|
The same day that we started the apple cider vinegar treatment for the Molluscum Contagiosum, we also started my son on vitamin E vitamins to make his skin heal faster. Whether it actually helped or not, I do not know, but I wanted to do everything I could.
We also applied the CVS antibiotic cream (CVS version of Neosporin), and my son is now Molluscum Contagiosum free. After 1 1/2 year of dealing with Molluscum Contagiosum, my son became Molluscum Contagiosum free after two weeks of the apple cider vinegar treatment.
I hope that writing this will help other families not only find a frugal alternative to the expensive Molluscum Contagiosum cream, but even more so find a remedy that will help you or your child get their worry-free life back.
This entire experience has taught me quite a few things as a mother.
1) Never give up
2) Research, research, research
3) Do not blindly trust everything your doctor says, especially not if your instincts tell you otherwise.
4 )Be open to using alternative remedies and natural treatments.
A few tips on starting the ACV treatment for Molluscum:
1)When you start the ACV treatment, start with a couple of bumps the first night to see how they react, and to see how the skin reacts.
2) Make sure that the ACV cottonballs touches as little healthy skin as possible to prevent burns, and don’t treat MC bumps that have been scratched open, as these will sting.
3) If your child is refusing to let you treat the bumps, you can wait until he or she sleeps before putting on the cottonballs. If your child is in pain, make sure to remove the bandages.
4) Doing the ACV baths and the cottonball treatments together is your best defensive against Molluscum Contagiosum.
4) Be consistent! The best way to treat Molluscum is to be consistent in your treatment.
5) Molluscum is very contagious both from person to person, but also from one spot on your body to another.
6) Molluscum can lay dormant in the skin for about two weeks after exposure, so do not get frustrated if new bumps keep appearing.
7) Do a lot of laundry while combating Molluscum! Wash towels every day, wash sheets and pillow cases every day, only use clothing one day before washing, and make sure to wash your hands a lot!
8 ) Don’t let children share beds, baths, clothing etc., if someone in your family has Molluscum Contagiosum.
9) If the ACV treatment does not work the first time around, do not despair. Wait a couple of weeks and try again. Read my second post about Molluscum to see why. (Find the link at the bottom of this post)
10) Be aware that you/your child is contagious, and do everything you can to prevent spreading to others.
Cost: Less than $10 for the cotton balls, apple cider vinegar and bandages. I had the vitamin E and the CVS antibiotic cream already. Not only was the apple cider vinegar a frugal alternative to the expensive $200+ cream, but it was also a natural treatment with no side effects.*
*My son did not experience any side effects from the use of apple cider vinegar other than the obvious stinging sensation when applying the cotton balls directly onto his skin for a longer period of time. However, whether others might have different reactions to the use of apple cider vinegar I do not know, so I advice starting out slowly with treating one or two Molluscum bumps.
If you have any experience with Molluscum Contagiosum, I would love to hear about it. I would also love to hear about your experience with Molluscum Contagiosum and apple cider vinegar, or any other Molluscum Contagiosum treatments or remedies.
I have posted an update of my family’s second round of Molluscum and ACV here.