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Pediatr Dermatol. 1999 May-Jun;16(3):228-31.

Treatment of molluscum contagiosum with potassium hydroxide: a clinical approach in 35 children.

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Department of Dermatology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Potassium hydroxide (KOH) is a strong alkali that has long been known to digest proteins, lipids, and most other epithelial debris of skin scrapings to identify fungal infections. To our knowledge, KOH has never been used for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum (MC). We evaluated 35 children with MC for the clinical effectiveness of treatment with topical 10% KOH aqueous solution. The solution was applied by the parents of affected children, twice daily, on each MC lesion. The therapy was continued until all lesions underwent inflammation and superficial ulceration. Thirty-two of 35 patients achieved complete clinical cure after a mean treatment period of 30 days. Three children discontinued treatment: two reported severe stinging of the lesions and refused further applications; the other, with giant MC lesions, developed a secondary infection with prolonged treatment. Therapy with KOH was found to be effective and safe in the treatment of MC in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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