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Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin infection caused by the virus of the same name that presents with raised pink lesions on the skin that will dimple. If you leave these lesions alone, most of the time, each individual molluscum will disappear on its own in a matter of 2 to 3 months. Unfortunately, as one disappears, another will typically start to bloom to replace it so patients may not ever have a period of being symptom-free without more drastic medical intervention. 

It is a virus that is more likely to affect children than adults. Notably, children between the ages of 1 to 10 seem to have the greatest risk of contracting this disease. Living in a tropical climate as well can predispose you to have this infection. Playing in sports that have several opportunities for direct skin-to-skin contact are also likely sources of the disease. Wrestling and football would be those types of sports with the highest risk of becoming infected. 

Thankfully, there are a few treatment options that are available to patients to attain more long-term relief. This treatment needs to be drastic because patients suffering from Molluscum Contagiosum can easily spread the disease through simple skin contact with an uninfected individual. The need for surgery increases based on where the lesions are located. Doctors are more prone to do an intervention if the marks are found on your face or neck. 

Some of the options available to a dermatologist when they decide what intervention to perform would be cryotherapy, curettage, laser therapy or applying a topical cream that will burn away the bumps. These are all considered to be highly effective treatments and the decision to select between the options depends mainly on what is available in the clinic. If a patient suffers from an immune system disorder like HIV, treatment with antiretroviral therapy will also be mandatory in order to improve the immune system enough to fight the virus more effectively. 

In one study done comparing the long-term effectiveness of various Molluscum  Contagiosum  therapies, 74 children were divided into two groups. One group received a treatment of topical 5 percent imiquimod cream while the other group of children was given cryotherapy. The cream was applied 5 days a week and the cryotherapy was given once a week until there was a resolution of symptoms. The children were finally analyzed 6 months after the study to determine if there was a long-term cure of the disease or if it was just temporary. 

At the conclusion of this study, it was determined that 33 out of 37 children (nearly 92 percent) who were given cream as a treatment option were completely cured of the disease. About half of these children were cured in the first 6 weeks and another 12 participants had no more lesions after the 12th week of the study. Those 37 children having cryotherapy all were fully cured by the end of the study. Nearly 70 percent were cured within 3 weeks of therapy with all deemed disease-free by week 6. 

As you can see, both of these are an effective and appropriate treatment for the disease but the cure rate and speed of response of cryotherapy are superior to topical medications. [1]

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