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Can OTC wart medicine help stop molluscum contagiosum?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 9, 2023.

Official answer


Salicylic acid, such as that found in Compound W (over-the-counter (OTC)), which is a commonly known aid in removing warts, can also be beneficial in removing the lesions caused from Molluscum Contagiosum. Topical antibiotic creams (available on presciption) may help to reduce infection and scarring from Molluscum contagiosum. Cimetidine and topical Cidofovir have proven useful but not approved by the FDA.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes raised, pearl-like papules or nodules on the skin. It is caused by a virus that is a member of the poxvirus family.

Molluscum Contagiosum is sometimes mistaken as a wart. Although both are caused from viral infections, Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a pox virus, while warts are caused by the human papilloma virus.

This is a common infection in children and occurs when a child comes into direct contact with a lesion. It is frequently seen on the face, neck, armpit, arms, and hands but may occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles.

The virus can spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as towels, clothing, or toys. In people with normal immune systems, the disorder usually goes away on its own over a period of months to years.

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