HealthDay News — Patients may be tempted to treat little skin bumps on their own, but that can delay proper diagnosis and treatment that may work better, federal regulators caution.
Products marketed as treatments for molluscum have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, the agency warned. There are no approved treatments in either prescription or over-the-counter form for the condition, which will typically go away on its own in 6 to 12 months but could last up to 5 years.
Molluscum can grow alone or in groups almost anywhere on the skin, including the face, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, and genital area. They are rarely on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Sometimes these bumps itch and get irritated. Patients with a weakened immune system may have larger or more bumps. They are more common in children, but can happen in teens and adults.
Molluscum is spread by skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, and by sharing clothes or infected objects such as sports equipment. Staying clean, including hand washing, is the best way to prevent them.
Unapproved products are unlikely to actually have the impact they claim and may cause bad reactions, such as skin reddening, abrasion from skin scratching, and permanent scarring. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to products, such as those that contain essential oils.