Background: Molluscum contagiosum is one of the commonest cutaneous viral infections in children. All treatment modalities are associated with substantial pain, tissue destruction, and frequent recurrence.
Objectives: To compare the efficacy and side effects of KOH 5% solution with tretinoin 0.05% cream for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children.
Methods: Fifty patients were randomly divided into 2 groups; 25 each for 5% KOH solution and 0.05% tretinoin cream. The given medication was applied at bed time over molluscum lesions. The assessment of response and side effects were performed weekly for 4 weeks.
Results: At the end of 4 weeks, the mean lesion count decreased from 9.48 +/- 3.00 SD to 1.67 +/- 0.58 SD and from 8.35 +/- 2.82 SD to 2.00 +/- 1.00 SD in patients treated with 5% KOH solution and 0.05% tretinoin cream respectively.
Conclusion: The result of both KOH and tretinoin showed good response, well tolerated by children but between the two, KOH showed fast recovery and most lesions were resolved before 4 week. The side effects could be minimized if applied as stated above. On the other hand, tretinoin showed delayed response and even some of lesion extended beyond 4 week but the side effect were less, and hence can be used in recurrent cases.