Treatment of facial molluscum contagiosum with trichloroacetic acid

Pediatr Dermatol. Jul-Aug 2009;26(4):425-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2009.00945.x.


Molluscum contagiosum (MC) virus is a common cutaneous infection in the pediatric population, most commonly affecting school-aged children. Spontaneous clearing of lesions usually occurs over time; however, treatment is often sought due to cosmetic significance, pruritus, or concerns of transmission and autoinoculation. Chemical destruction with cantharidin, which is derived from blister beetle extract, is very safe and highly effective, making it the treatment of choice in the pediatric population. However, treatment of facial lesions or those in the diaper area are not recommended with this agent. Trichloroacetic acid is a safe and effective agent frequently utilized in dermatologic practice, most commonly in the treatment of verrucae. We have successfully used topical trichloroacetic acid to treat facial molluscum contagiousum and present the following technique for proper application.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Caustics / administration & dosage
  • Caustics / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Molluscum Contagiosum / drug therapy*
  • Molluscum Contagiosum / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trichloroacetic Acid / administration & dosage


  • Caustics
  • Trichloroacetic Acid