For mild cases, over-the-counter wart medicines, such as salicylic acid may or may nothorten infection duration. Daily topical application of tretinoin cream ("Retin-A 0.025%") may also trigger resolution. These treatments require several months for the infection to clear, and are often associated with intense inflammation and possibly discomfort.
Doctors occasionally prescribe Imiquimod, though the optimum schedule for its use has yet to be established. Imiquimod is a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy triggers the immune system to fight the virus causing the skin growth.
Imiquimod is applied 3 times per week, left on the skin for 6 to 10 hours, and washed off. A cure may take from 4 to 16 weeks. Small studies have indicated that it is successful about 80% of the time. Another dose regimen: apply imiquimod three times daily for 5 consecutive days each week.
Imiquimod has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for molluscum contagiosum. This treatment regimen is reserved for 1% Imiquimod cream. If a higher concentration is used in a similar method, chemical burns or plausible nerve damage are possible.
Pulsed dye laser therapy for molluscum contagiosum may be the treatment of choice for multiple lesions in a cooperative patient. The use of pulsed dye laser for the treatment of MC has been documented with excellent results. The therapy was well tolerated, without scars or pigment anomalies. The lesions resolved without scarring at 2 weeks. Studies show 96%–99% of the lesions resolved with one treatment. The pulsed dye laser is quick and efficient, but its expense makes it less cost effective than other options. Also, not all dermatology offices have this 585 nm laser.