Okay, let me first say that this is not an entirely pleasant read. Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin disease that I suffered for the entire year of 2005. The only reason that I have created this page is to help out whoever else may be dealing with it. I was forced to learn a great deal about this infection the hard way, I literally spent thousands of dollars trying different things to cure it, and unfortunately I even had doctors who misdiagnosed me and made things worse.
I don’t wish this disease on anyone, and I am happy to announce that through trial and error, I have figured out how to overcome it. And it’s really not all that expensive in the end.
What follows is my personal experience; I can’t guarantee that what I’ve done will work for everyone or that your experience will be the same as mine. This is just my way of trying to give back and help, so that hopefully if you’re dealing with it, you can be all better within a month or two, instead of a full year like me.
THE DOCTOR EXPERIENCE
It is not my intention to bad-mouth anyone, but my personal experience with the dermatologists was very painful, very expensive, and did NOT cure the disease. As anyone who has been probably knows, the doctor’s method of treatment is to literally scrape the lesions off the skin. Granted, this works for many people, but in my case it was just a temporary fix. See, here’s the problem – after the treatment, the doctor told me to go home and soak in the tub as a way to remove the “debris.” However, after talking to other specialists, I’ve learned the painful truth that the virus actually flourishes in a warm, damp environment. Soaking in the tub actually made it worse. This much I also know for sure, because of the way it spread on me. At the beginning, I only had one cluster of lesions, right below my waist. After being scraped and soaking in the tub, they came back – not just in one cluster, but all over the place.
What sucks even more about this is the fact that this happened a few times before I knew what was going on. I kept paying for these costly and unpleasant treatments, only to go home and spread the remainder even more.
Here’s the lesson – do NOT soak in the tub. Keep the area as dry as possible. Shower, don’t soak, and then dry the area off as soon as you’re finished. Avoid hot tubs, although a cold swimming pool once in a while should be okay so long as you dry off right away.
Something else I learned the hard way is the whole shaving thing. I was keeping the area clean shaven as a way to see things clearer… foolishly. Ya see, not only does the possibility of razor bumps create the potential for an ugly confusing mess of redness, but the razor itself can actually open and spread the lesions. Ya accidentally pop one of those things, and you’ve just made it worse.
Here’s the lesson – it’s a good idea to keep the area trimmed… but don’t use a razor. Use a beard and mustache trimmer, or use scissors. Keep it short, but not bald.
I asked my doctor if I should use medicated lotion on the area to help it heal. He said yes. Once again, this was a mistake. The virus thrives in a warm and damp environment, remember? Lotion makes it worse! Once again, let me stress – keep the area as dry as possible.
Here’s what does work – tea tree oil. You can find it at any natural products store. And it’s only $15 a bottle or so (depending on the size). The stuff is extremely potent as a natural antibacterial, and thus the bottle will last you a long time. Make sure you get the 100% pure stuff; Desert Essence and JASON are good brand names to look for. If you can’t find any yourself, I’ve made some available to order online HERE.
If you look closely at a lot of the herbal remedies out there online (once again I won’t bad-mouth anyone here, but I also spent a lot of money trying the various concoctions you can buy online and they also did NOT work for me), they all boast tea tree oil as one of their main ingredients. So… why get something that boasts a powerful ingredient in the mix, when you can just get the ingredient by itself?
ALTERNATIVE HOME TREATMENT
If you’ve already searched the Internet for Molluscum information, you’ve probably come across some of those electronic skin-zapper devices. I’ve tried these too. I admit, they help… but they also can cause side effects. The part that I used to zap the spots helped them heal… but the other parts that you use on your surrounding skin to “ground” the electrical charge actually caused these weird itchy spots that took a long time to go away.
If everything else I’ve mentioned here doesn’t work for you, try the electrical approach. But, I highly recommend that you only buy the unit and the absolutely necessary pieces that go with it – don’t buy the whole expensive bundle, because a lot of the extra crap they throw in there is a rip-off. I bought one that had this special “molluscum soap” in it, and I swear I could see the outline of the word “Olay” very faintly on the bar.
But, here’s the only problem – the stuff is so potent, you have to be careful when applying it. Seriously, use a cotton ball. One drop only. Apply it very lightly to the whole area; do not use your fingers, and do not pour it on directly. Then, you have to keep an eye on the area. If a part of your skin reacts harshly to the stuff (usually as dry redness), have some hydrocortisone and neosporin handy. Really if you’re careful you shouldn’t need it, but keep it handy to be on the safe side.
Ooh, and check this out – they actually make tea tree oil soap. You can get it at Trader Joe’s, among other places. Use it in the shower, it helps.
HEALING FROM THE INSIDE
Another big, big part of recovering from the Molluscum Contagiosum virus is getting your immune system as strong as possible. Your body will recognize and combat the virus, but not if it’s already busy fighting the flu or colds – so start getting yourself as healthy as possible. Stay away from alcohol, eat healthy, and exercise.
Another key aspect to ultimate health is customized nutrition. Search in your area for anyone doing “nutrition response testing”; it’s really the best way to get your system as strong as possible, remove your body of toxins, and get yourself operating at 100%. Think of this; you wouldn’t buy a one-size-fits-all shoe, now would you? Right, so, why would you randomly buy vitamins off the shelf without knowing what your body needs? The same point applies to nutrition; have a professional check you out and see exactly what you need, and then use that information to heal naturally.
If you’re in Upstate NY, I highly recommend this place: http://www.backtowellnesscny.com
In addition to custom essentials, it helps to eat food that is also good for your skin. That would be anything that is rich in vitamins A and E. Almonds, carrots, broccoli and spinach are the easiest to come by. Fish oils are also very good for the skin, so make sure you get lots of fish in your diet.
Let’s sum up.
1. If you have lots of lesions, visit the dermatologist and get them removed. But be vary wary of everything I have said so that they do not come back. Hopefully everything else listed will be a preventIve measure.
2. Keep the area as dry as possible.
3. Keep the hair short, but not shaved.
4. Dab the infected area with tea tree oil via cotton ball once in the morning and once before bed. Wash the area with tea tree oil soap when showering. Keep hydrocortisone handy just in case any areas of your skin react harshly to the oil. (That only tends to happen when heavy doses are used on NON-infected skin.)
5. Get your immune system running at 100%. This means eat healthy, stay away from drugs and alcohol, work out, and look into “nutrition response testing”.
All in all, this won’t cost you very much money. A couple hundred bucks, tops. And in the end, you’ll be much healthier.
- Christopher G.
* please note that while I try to get back to everyone who writes to me, I have a fiendishly busy schedule and can’t promise how quickly I’ll be able to reply. I highly recommend that you visit the FAQ, and take the time to read the comments already posted and replied to, as it’s quite likely that your question has already been asked by someone else.