Since molluscum usually goes away in about six to nine months on its own, some pediatricians advocate not treating it. Keep in mind that it can sometimes last for two to four years and may spread aggressively, which is why others do recommend treating molluscum with:
Direct removal with a curette
Cryosurgery - freezing
Cantharidin - a blistering agent
Aldara (Imiquimod) - also used for genital warts, although they are not related to molluscum
Retin A (Tretinoin) - also used for acne
All of these treatments have their shortcomings though. Direct removal and cryosurgery are painful. Cantharidin can cause large blisters. Aldara is expensive. And Retin A doesn't always work well when used by itself.
So what should you do about your child's molluscum?
Talk with your pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist about your options, which might include:
Leaving the molluscum alone, especially if your child has aleady had them for several months and they are not spreading.
Direct removal with a curette or cryosurgery if your child only has a few lesions. Although it can be painful, your pediatrician can consider using a topical anesthetic.
Cantharidin is another option if your child doesn't have a lot of lesions. It is not FDA approved in the United States, so not all doctors have it.
Either using Aldara cream and Retin A cream alone, or using them together on alternate days.
Most importantly, if you do treat your child's molluscum, watch for new lesions during treatment. They are contagious and start spreading the infection again, even if the initial treatment was successful.