To Treat Molluscum Contagiosum or Not—Curettage: An Effective, Well-Accepted Treatment Modality

Avikam Harel, Ana Maria Kutz, Smail Hadj-Rabia, Jacob Mashiah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives: Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a common viral disease primarily affecting children. The objective was to compare the effectiveness of curettage as a treatment modality for MC with no treatment. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 2,022 children with MC between 2008 and 2012. Epidemiologic, clinical, and treatment data, including effectiveness, safety, and satisfaction, were reviewed. Results: Fifty-six percent of the children were 2 to 5 years of age. The duration of the infection was 1 to 2 years for 51%, less than 1 year for 32%, and more than 2 years for 17% of the children. Seventy percent of the children were self-referrals; 86% had had a previous examination and 76% of those had been advised not to treat the infection. The disease was mild (22%), moderate (64%), or severe (14%). A total of 1,879 patients underwent curettage; 70% were cured after one treatment and 26% after two treatments. Satisfaction was high: 97% of children and parents. Conclusion: Active treatment should be offered despite the fact that MC is self-limiting. Curettage in an appropriate setting is very effective, with high patient satisfaction and fast cure rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-645
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


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