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Molluscum Contagiosum - do you squeeze and pop or not?

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How Molloscum Contagiosum Presents Itself


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    molloscum contagiosum is no laughing matter yet many young children will suffer from it at some stage in their childhood. As a parent be prepared with the remedies now available. Curing molloscum contagiosum is now possible,

Molloscum contagiosum busters!

The Confusing Path to Curing My Kids of Molloscum Contagiosum

When I first spotted small hard white spots on my children I immediately became concerned as to the cause. Like nothing I had seen before these little spots seemed to have their own unpredictable agenda of starting on a leg, then spreading to an arm, onto the forehead and then a cluster in the armpit.

Puzzled by the cause and their innate ability to spread so quickly I brought both my children to the doctor. Now I should add in my first interaction with molloscum was about 6 years ago on my elder two children.

Off to the doctor we went and once called in we displayed these rather odd looking spots to the Doctor. Right away she identified these little spots, rapidly spreading across both my kids we in fact Molluscum contagiosum .

"Ok" I thought to myself "am seriously going to have lots of fun sounding intelligent with my family and friends saying this phrase, once - that is - I have grasped how to say it without sounding like some sort of alien life form which has accidentally landed on planet earth. After getting my tongue around Molluscum contagiosum (not literally) I dropped the name of it to "Molluscum" - my new adversary.

When we discussed Molluscum contagiosum and causes etc I asked about getting rid of it and at that time - 6 years ago the medical opinion was quote "this is the only thing we recommend you squeeze. Once you have popped the spot it will start to heal then disappear!".

For me this was like Christmas coming early. "Yes, Yes, Yes" I declared inside as I am a devout 'squeezer' of almost anything squeezable. Spots, blackheads you name it I'll squeeze it. Yucky I know however c'est la vie, this is how the good lord has made me so I really cannot help it.

The other option was to have them removed via a "burning off" technique at which both my kids looked with horror and said "Mummy you have to squeeze them". Again while I presented a serious, concerned parent face to the doctor, I simple could not wait to get home and start my squeezing sessions!

I could almost hear the magnificient sound pattern "squeeze, POP, squeeeeeeeze POP, Squeeze Pop" with the occasional yelp from my afflicted children as they listened to my "darling I have to do this, you heard what the doctor said!".

I carried out this "rescue mission" for my two kids, although my other half who is also a "pyscho squeezer" muscled in a few times and pretty soon Molluscum contagiosum was no more. Gone, Kaput - we had squeezed it into obliteration - zapped off the planet!!

My daughter did have a cluster on her leg which were almost like a sunflower in the way they presented themselves - big bud was the one in the middle and smaller ones peppered around it like petals and to date she still has a mark where the "sunflower" once embedded itself.

Six years on and I find my youngest with the same presentation of Molluscum contagiosum under her arm and around her back. Ok I thought we know this is Molluscum contagiosum however as she has very sensitive skin and where it was situated, there was going to be a lot of yelping and shrieking if we had to do any squeezing at all.

Off to our medical centre and there we met a doctor who took one look and said "Oh yes I agree it is Molluscum contagiosum". I smiled smugly and said "Yes we have had to deal with this before. Now I know I should be squeezing them however..."

The doctor silenced me immediately with his interjection "Never squeeze Molluscum contagiosum - this will only serve to help them spread. No, no, no, you have to leave them to disappear in their own time".

I was horrified to hear such extremely different advice. I explained the advice of previous doctor and was advised this was no longer the case and nothing should be touched.

I felt somewhat disappointed as the ones of my young ones back were ripe for the squeezing yet I knew the ones under her arm would have been agony to do any more of manipulation to remove them so I realised with no anonymous support group existing for people "who want to stop squeezing" then the new battle with molluscum contagiosum would take on a whole new form.

In addition the doctor told me as her skin was so dry I should moisturise the area and this would help with the itching under her armpit!

I did this only to be back at the medical centre due to a rapid spread in the Molluscum contagiosum within weeks. Only to be told by another doctor that under no circumstances should I have been advised to moisturise the raw, dry skin as this was only providing the Molluscum contagiosum with an even more tempting and easy breeding ground!

"Holy Moly when is the advice going to make sense!" was the polite version of what I was really thinking.

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I went home and decided to do my damnedest to not touch and hopefully see them disappear. That was months ago and although they are starting to clear I have taken my youngest to an expensive appointment with a mineral biologist who prescribed tablets magcal and echinacea for a period of time to help the dry skin and the Molluscum contagiosum but while there was a subtle change in the dry skin overall there was no cure. They have now presented themselves for a great deal longer than my other two childrens bout and some look like they are spreading to new areas!

At the height of this bout one of the spots bled and became infected and I ended up having to get a prescription of antibiotics. The results of this were unbelievable as within a day the infected Molluscum contagiosum begane to release the contents in what can only be described as jaw dropping proportions. We could only look and stare at her back in the bath as a long string like yellow substance emanated from this spot. The spot soon scabbed up and disappeared. This has not happened to the others and although some have gone it has been a slow process with a lot of itching for my child

To date the Molluscum contagiosum have started to scab and heal in some areas, those prone to being more damp, dark areas are still hanging on by their Molluscum contagiosum fingernails but I'm sure they will eventually disappear.

I guess my message is this, there are many more cures and information available today about Molluscum contagiosum so if your child has this diagnosed, make sure you make an informed choice about how it is treated and treat it asap.

I still swear by the "squeeze, pop" technique however this is completely frowned upon now. Other people I know have bought "potions" online and her daughters bout cleared in within weeks, rather than months, therefore it is different strokes for different folks.

Never share and always wash the towels after each bath or shower of your child who has the molloscum contagiosum. It is a pain in the a** the amount of laundry this will generate however finding it spreading across their bodies or worse still to you or the rest of your family does not bear thinking about.

Make your own decision as a parent with a child who has this condition however molluscum contagiosum is as hard to eradicate (with no treatment) as it is to pronounce it properly first time you attempt to say it.


Agoodparent on July 25, 2017:

This article is quite dated but STILL relevant! I got advice from our pediatrician to just leave the molluscum alone and it would go away on its own. I noticed the first dimple on my son's forehead around 8 months of age and had gone ahead and popped it. at age 12 months he later contracted a single molluscum on his tummy (probably from the same daycare facility and child/children). It grew to a large size and I first tried natural means to get rid of it. We tried applied neem oil for 2 months, to no avail, tried drying it out with apple cider vinegar but it was stung and was too painful for my toddler, now 2 years old. We even tried raspberry seed oil...again, no change and by now he had more...4 mollusum and a dermatitis/rash surrounding it. Avoiding the area became a huge hardship at bath time, and the number of wash cloths and towels generated were ridiculous! We had to use a different wash cloth for that spot, as well as a fresh towel after each bath to prevent spreading (not taking these steps is probably how most children's condition worsens quickly spreads). My son was starting a new school and I felt it was somewhat unethical to be exposing other people's children to the possibility of contracting this virus - through water play (it thrives in damp areas), the pool, diaper change areas, etc. I covered it with a thick layer of petroleom jelly after baths, and before he went to daycare to create a barrier against it being transferred to other children, but again, as a parent I know I would NOT want another child exposing my son to an infectious virus so I felt I needed to DO something more rigorous. The virus did NOT dissipate after a few months, like many articles suggest! After lots of research, I made an informed decision to pop them all. Because of my meticulous, but tiresome routine our 2 year old only had 4 of these bumps, but I popped them. The larger ones are very easy to pop; make sure to thoroughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your fingernails before you begin! Grasp the large molluscum at the BASE, just above where it's attached to the child's skin. DO NOT grasp the child's skin! Instead, grasp the base of the molluscum and give it a good stead squeeze. You'll notice the white, encapsulated foreign body pop right out. Make sure you got the entire core out because that is the contagious part! Squeeze again, this time not a hard since it'll be painful and it's no longer necessary to be that rough with it. Wipe the area with a warm, clean wash cloth and move on the next. Do NOT wipe/smear the white core the skin area to avoid spreading! Discard this or put it to the side and move on to the next. The tiny mollusum are harder to pop since they're difficult to grasp, but their core is teeny-tiny and doesn't need as much force applied to the "pop" as larger ones do, so take care not to hurt your child/make them more uncomfortable than necessary. Use a clean portion of your WARM, damp wash cloth to wipe the blood away and sooth the area after each pop. Apply some sort of Neosporin or cream to prevent infection of the open wounds, just like you would a cut or scrape. Good luck with any choice you make. I feel this is the most direct, fastest way to get rid of these for the purposes of preventing them spreading to other areas on your child, and to other children as well.

Dara Harvey on February 07, 2017:

Our 2 kids had this. Doc said leave them alone, they'll clear eventually on their own. My son has one on his knee and it accidentally popped when he scraped his knee on the playground. Husband cleaned it out and dug out the core. It healed and before long, all the other molluscum cleared up too. Now, our daughter has had these for well over a year. One on her leg got infected. Husband tried to clean it out like our son's but it was too painful and he didn't get the core. Within weeks a new breakout spread to her neck where she developed 17 new molluscum. After waiting 6 months, they were just growing bigger and still spreading. She was becoming self conscious about them at school (first grade). So she finally agreed to let her dad pop them with tweezers. He squeezed each one until the core came out. They are now all healing. And she feels so much relief to be finally rid of these things.

Sabrina on June 05, 2016:

My daughter contracted it and I was using hydrogen peroxide at least 1x daily but either way shes 1 1/2 & shes going to touch the area & cause spreading which she did so I couldn't take it anymore on top of knowing that she could possibly spread it to other kids that she would be around & thats the last thing I wanted...I popped them..& boom gone..put alcohol ..throughly washed my hands even put alcohol under my fingernails..

Kerry on April 17, 2016:

How do you "pop" the bumps. A few of my son's poped by accident, but when I squeeze them I do not see any results. Should I squeeze harder, use a needle? How do you pop them?

JJL on January 11, 2016:

My son has had this for 9 months. We saw peds and dermatologyst. Both said to leave it. We tried all sorts of topical things plus vitamines. It just spread. We finally started popping a few after a long hot shower every night. Sometimes repopping was required. I always used gloves and put them in toilet paper to be thrown away. I then hit all spots with a qtip and tea tree oil. Tonight we popped our last ones! The spreading slowed way down when we started popping. I also covered areas with medical tape to avoid spreading and aggitate the bumps so his body will pay attention to them. Popping has worked the best for us. From here on out i'll look over his body everynight after bath to catch any new ones that may pop up. He has only had 2 new since we started popping. Good luck all!

Roxanne D. on August 18, 2014:

Great post! I was told different methods by different doctors as well. It is very frustrating, isn't it? My nice, I believe, is the one who spread it to my son. She had hers burned off and it was quite a horrible ordeal, so there was no way I was going to do this. We were told to leave them alone and they would go away on their own, and we could use hydrocortisone for he itching. Well, over the past two months it has spread like wildfire and, after going to another doctor, we were told never to use hydrocortisone and that is probably why it spread so rapidly as of late. Now we are tryjgn Zymaderm and, as a serial popper myself, I have been fighting he urge to get in there and so it myself, but am really hoping this does the trick! You'd think after all these years there would be a better treatment. :(

Dm on July 26, 2014:

Popping definitely works. If you are concerned about bacterial infection then use a little polysporin afterwards. However, we did a lot of popping on 2 kids. All went away, there was no further spreading and not one got infected (and we did not use polysporin). Go ahead and pop just one. When you see how fast it goes away you will pop the rest!!

Pia on March 31, 2014:

My son had rashes a week ago after a fever then doctor said it was molluscum, they look like pimples so in my head I've tried tea tree oil on my pimples before, I had to do something because I don't want my son to suffer months even years. So I did a little research and I was right some people do use tea tree oil. After 4 days of using tea tree oil almost all look like scabs now, I use tea tree oil body wash too, changed towel every shower. I use a tea tree oil cream for upper extremities , so molluscum is contained on the legs. I'm happy with the progress, please don't pop to avoid infection try tea tree oil it's a natural anti bacterial oil too.

John on January 06, 2014:

My daughter has had these for over a year, we have had 2 trips to the doctors where they were diagnosed as warts. After looking online i done a bit of research and founf they was these. I too have squeezed these and have noticed the results almost instantly. After 3 days of squeezing the cluster of spots behind my daughters leg have cleared up and a couple have also dissapeard completely. I believe doctors only to do what books tell them too.

Amanda on September 26, 2012:

I tried apple cider viengar for 6 months with no success. I ended up squeezing each and every one of them when they were ripe (like a little mountain) and i am pleased that they have finally gone.

Jon K on September 19, 2012:

Got a special cream from the doctor that didn't work. Months went by and nothing changed, then I decided to experiment and pop one and see what happened. It looked better and I popped it a second time, after that it just looked like a small blemish and eventually went away.

I also read a lot of info, and most of it said not to pop and that it would make it spread. In the end I popped all of them, they bleed a lot and scabbed but eventually all of them went away. I also recently read that tea tree oil works to dry it out, which is what my gf uses for acne. So I would suggest popping then using tea tree oil.

Blurter of Indiscretions from Clinton CT on May 29, 2012:

Great article. I just posted about my controversial treatment!

Mrs McK (author) from Scotland on November 03, 2011:

well the docs say it's a no no, in case spots get infected however the alternative option of being patient isn't working for us..will try the "potions" and update hub if it works. Thanks for reading ..great to read the comments.

Mrs McK (author) from Scotland on November 03, 2011:

thanks for reading and sharing. much appreciated!

islandnurse from Vancouver Island, Canada on November 03, 2011:

Informative hub, some others Moms and I were discussing this the other day, I'll pass this on!

James Bowden from Long Island, New York on November 03, 2011:

It looks almost tempting not too squeeze those little pustules, but I am assuming it is a no-no to do so?


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