When I treat young children in my herbal dermatology practice, the most common condition I see is eczema. In second place is a viral condition called molluscum contagiosum. It’s actually quite common for kids with eczema to also have molluscum. The good news: herbal medicine provides a holistic treatment that really works.
What is Molluscum Contagiosum?
In this condition, raised bumps appear on the skin that are pinkish-red or skin colored. Some say they look like warts, but that’s not totally accurate. The bumps usually have little indentations in the middle of them. They can show up on any part of the body, but most often on the legs, arms or genital area. There could be one bump, but most of the time there are several that are often seen in groups. Some children find them to be itchy – others don’t. As the name suggests, molluscum contagiosum can be quite contagious and easily transferred by touching other children, toys or playground equipment.
Often, the condition clears on its own, and many doctors advise families to just wait and see.
But for stubborn cases, many parents want to be proactive in getting treatment. In western medicine, the lesions can be frozen or scraped off, or burned off with a chemical cream. Children often find this treatment to be really painful. I assume this is why it’s so common for parents to seek out herbal alternatives, which is how they end up in my practice.
Herbal medicine for molluscum is totally painless. In the vast majority of cases, children use topical treatment alone (and don’t need to take internal herbs at all). I give them herb teas that are used as a wash or compress, followed by an ointment.
The herbs that I make into a compress can have anywhere between 6 and 12 ingredients. The main focus is to use anti-viral herbs that target molluscum. The herbs will vary based on the look of the lesions (are they flesh colored, pink, red or irritated?) as well as the child’s other symptoms (like – do they also have eczema, for example).
It takes diligence to apply the herbs and ointment on a daily basis, but it’s worth it to clear the skin of this pesky virus.
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