Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum (MC), also called Molluscum epitheliae, Epithelioma molluscum, and sometimes called water warts (“waterwratjes” in Dutch) is a member of the poxvirus family and is responsible for a common contagious viral disease that has a very high incidence in children, sexually active adults and in immunodeficient individuals.

How it presents

It is a viral infection of the skin or occasionally of the mucous membranes that causes raised, pearl-like nodules or papules/pimples on the skin or mucous membranes. Pimples are spherical, 3-10 mm in size, skin colored or white, sometimes somewhat shiny. The surface is flattened. It takes 6-12 weeks until they reach their maximum size.

They occur mainly in the trunk, in the neck and around the armpits. They can also occur in the face, for example on the eyelids. Around the water warts there may also be eczema, meaning that this can occur in children that have atopic eczema.

In adults, water warts mostly appear in the genitals and around the anus. A condom does not prevent contamination during a sexual encounter because the virus is generally not on the sexual organs but on the skin around it.

Molluscum contagiosum can be presented in childhood and spread by skin-to-skin contact. It also can be presented in adulthood, also spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual and intimate contact.

How it is transmitted

Molluscum contagiosum infects only humans. The viral infection can be spread:

  • Directly through skin-to-skin contact by touching or scratching the bumps and then touching the skin of another person;
  • By autoinoculation, by scratching one part of the body that has the virus and spread to another area of the body;
  • Through fomites (shared items, specially towels) and clothes that have the virus on them;
  • Directly through skin-to-skin contact during sexual and intimate relationship.

Incubation period

The incubation period is the period from the infection to the appearance of the lesions. It ranges from 2 weeks to 7 weeks (14-50 days).

How long the disease can last

Most cases of molluscum contagiosum will clear up naturally within two years. Since there is no permanent immunity to the virus, it is possible to become infected again upon exposure to an infected person.

Conventional medicine treatment

Conventional treatment of molluscum contagiosum is possible by:

  • cryosurgery is used to freeze the lesions by using liquid nitrogen;
  • Or mechanical removal by scrapping the molluscum with a curette.

Homeopathic treatment

Most all the patients that come to a homeopathic consultation presenting water warts already tried the conventional medicine treatment.  Homeopathy, by eliciting an immune response from the patient, provides an alternative treatment of molluscum contagiosum.

In clinical and individualised homeopathy, homeopathic practitioners aim to identify a single homeopathic preparation that matches a patient’s general constitution.

Constitution refers to a picture composed of different information such as patients past medical history, medical history of family members, the patient’s personality, relationship with the climate, sleeping pattern, eating habits, occurrence of perspiration, and food preferences and aversions.

Moreover, all the details of the patient’s symptoms are noted, such as the type of lesion, the local sensations, the occurrence, the circumstances that led to appearance of the lesions, etc. and the study of the emotional sphere and mind of the patient is conducted thoroughly. This means that homeopathic medicines are most effective when they are selected on the “total” characteristic set of symptoms, and not just based only on local symptoms of the illness.

Due to differences in elements of patient’s constitutions, two patients with identical medical diagnosis may receive different homeopathic prescriptions. Therefore, each patient suffering from molluscum contagiosum is evaluated individually and treated the same way.