Our Experience with Molluscum: A Viral Wart You Don’t Want to Encounter


When my daughter started getting a small rash on her upper legs, I didn’t think much of it. She has sensitive skin like me and has a history of eczema. I put some extra lotion on it and moved on.

A few weeks later I realized the rash was turning into bumps and she was itching it a lot more. I added a steroid cream that we’d gotten before and more lotion hoping it would calm down.

A few weeks later, same story, but this time the area had almost tripled, and it was really starting to irritate her and was starting to blister. I knew it was time for a doctor visit.

Obviously, as a parent in 2022, I googled and diagnosed my daughter before we went to the doctor. But the doctor confirmed that the rash was Molluscum Contagiosum. According to the CDC, molluscum is an infection caused by the poxvirus and it causes warts. That’s right, a viral wart. Add that to the childhood contagious disease bingo card. It can be itchy and is spread by itching. That means it’s pretty much a lose-lose situation when it comes to kids. 

Unfortunately, the pediatrician we saw that day was not very helpful, and pretty much told us it’ll go away eventually, and good luck. I was really disappointed I dismissed about something that was so uncomfortable to my daughter. I called up my own dermatologist and they were happy to see her quickly.

Prior to going to the dermatologist, the only options the internet, other experienced moms, and some medical friends had was to freeze off each wart (by this point there were upwards of 20-30 warts). Or, I could ride it out and hope it goes away. The latter could take months to years. I wasn’t satisfied with any of the options. Over the counter fixes using random oils were an option, but can really irritate skin and aren’t necessarily approved for kids. It’s a gamble I wasn’t willing to play. 

Luckily, my dermatologist is amazing and had a great plan when we arrived. She knew freezing them off was not an option, but beetlejuice was. That’s right, she put beetlejuice on each wart. Technically it’s cantheridin, but it’s extracted from the green blister beetle. A small amount is applied to each wart, left on for a few hours, washed off, then the blisters heal over time. Within one week my daughters legs were halfway healed. Within three weeks, at our follow-up appointment, they were just scabs or scars, but were no longer irritating her. It was a miracle fix!

I couldn’t believe that there was a painless, easy solution to Molluscum this whole time. I’ve heard of kids going years with these irritating warts/blisters. I want everyone to know about this. Call your dermatologist if your child gets these warts and ask if the beetlejuice is right for you!

Has your child experienced Molluscum? What worked for you?

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Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to 2 fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.


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