Although more of a childhood disease, molluscum infects everyone. It usually takes a very long time to heal this skin condition. Luckily, we have a few essential oils for molluscum contagiosum proven to work. Check out their pros and cons, and other recommendations to use for this infection.
In this article, you’ll be reading about:
- What the usual treatment is and what its side effects are.
- How essential oils can help with molluscum.
- The pros and cons of some of the best aromatic oils to use for molluscum contagiosum. I’ll tell you more about the studies that found them effective too.
- How to use them for the best and fastest results.
- Practical recipes to try as soon as possible.
- Facts and details about this skin infection, and a few prevention tips.
Best Essential Oils for Molluscum Contagiosum (Pros & Cons), How to Use and Recipes
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral skin infection. This virus is a poxvirus (MCV) that belongs to the poxviridae family. Smallpox and chickenpox are two other viral infection examples.
It is a childhood disease. It usually affects children aged 2 to 10, but it can affect teenagers and adults too. It is a highly contagious skin disease that heals on its own. The downside is that it takes a very long time to do so (about 18 months or more).
Besides all this time it may take to heal, it can also cause visual discomfort. Of course, young children don’t really care about this aspect. Adults, however, do. You’ll find out more details and facts about this disease in the last part of the post.
Treatment of MC is not usually recommended for young children. It becomes an option only for teenagers and adults. Why is this so? It’s because the side effects of a conventional treatment are too aggressive for the little ones.
Some treatment options are curettage (scraping) and cryotherapy (freezing). These destroy the tissue and cause scars, pain, and soreness.
Both scraping and freezing need to be repeated over the course of the following month or so. You can imagine how this would be too much for a child.
Keep in mind that this type of treatment may leave scars and/or damage to the surrounding skin. Luckily, gels, creams, and other medicinal liquids can also be applied to the skin. This is where Aromatherapy becomes an alternative remedy for molluscum contagiosum.
How Can Essential Oils Help with Molluscum Contagiosum
Natural treatments don’t have nearly as many side effects as the regular MC treatment. They can:
- Decrease the time needed to get rid of the infection.
- Prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body or people.
- Keep it in check for people with weak immune system.
MC treatment can reduce the time needed to heal and get rid of the infection. Normally, it takes up to 18 months or more to run its course. MC treatment can reduce that time to 2 – 4 months.
Essential oils can be used in topical therapy. They make effective blends that can be applied directly to the molluscum spots.
These aromatic essences are concentrated plant extracts. They give the plant its fragrance. They also help it regenerate, fight infections and keep away predators. The oils can also attract pollinators and ensure the survival of the species.
If you scratch a leaf or bark, you’ll smell the volatile oil molecules. Those molecules get extracted via steam distillation. It takes hundreds of kilos or tons of plant material for a few milliliters of oil.
The chemical profile of an aromatic oil is very complex and unique. The altitude and geographical area influence it a lot. So do the harvest time and method, and the way it’s extracted.
Studies show that some essential oils have strong antiviral effects. This means that they can pass the protective film of the virus and destroy it from the inside.
Most viruses have already developed resistance to antibiotics. They were the best-known remedy for viral infections. RA while back, researchers started to look into new ways of killing viruses. They found a lot of potential in essential oils.
That said, essential oils can be a great remedy for molluscum contagiosum. They are:
- Analgesic (pain reliever).
- Circulatory (improve blood circulation).
- Immunomodulators (boost the immune system).
- Anti-edema (promote lymphatic/fluid drainage).
- Diuretic (promote urine production which leads to toxin elimination).
Essential oils for molluscum contagiosum can also speed up skin healing. Being anti-inflammatory, they can also help with scar healing. Long-term inflammation causes the skin to darken (hyperpigmentation).
There are many essences that are proven to be great antivirals. But just a few of them have actually been tested against molluscum contagiosum. Those oils are Tea Tree, Lemon Myrtle, and Sandalwood.
1) Tea Tree Essential Oil
Botanical name: Melaleuca alternifolia.
- Tea Tree oil a.k.a. Melaleuca oil is a very strong antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It is especially useful against influenza and herpes viruses.
- Another reason to use Tea Tree oil for molluscum is its immunomodulating effect. This means that the oil can boost the production of white blood cells. These cells make most of the immune system. A good immune system fights pathogens better.
- It is also anti-inflammatory, stimulant and circulatory. Tea Tree can improve the blood circulation and speed up tissue healing.
- One study used Tea Tree oil in combination with organically bound iodine. The purpose was, of course, to treat MC infection. They tested its effects on children aged 5 to 6. The combination was successful for 16 out of 19 children. The treatment lasted a month, with twice a day topical applications.
- People with epilepsy or prone to seizures should avoid using Tea Tree oil. High amounts may cause seizures.
- It may also cause contact dermatitis.
- An overdose of Tea Tree oil may cause loss of mobility and confusion.
Why I like it:
Tea Tree oil is good not only for molluscum but for other infections too. It’s very easy to use for a wide range of skin conditions. Acne, psoriasis, dandruff, and rashes are just a few examples. Want to know how to treat molluscum contagiosum with Tea Tree oil? Check out the “how to use” section.
2) Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
Botanical name: Backhousia citriodora.
- Lemon Myrtle oil for molluscum is another strong antiviral. Of course, it also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. The oil was used in a medical trial on children with molluscum. Their ages ranged between 2 and 7, and they were suffering from the infection for at least 3 months. They used the oil topically for 21 days (10% concentration). 9 children out of 16 showed 90% reduction in molluscum spots.
- Lemon Myrtle essential oil is also calming for the nervous system (a mild sedative). It can relax muscle spasms and soothe nerves.
- The oil is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This helps the tissue heal faster and with minimal scar tissue.
- It can also strengthen the immune system.
- Lemon Myrtle oil is highly irritant so use it in small amounts and always diluted.
- If it’s improperly used, it can be toxic to the nervous system.
- People with asthma and epilepsy must seek medical advice first.
- It can lower the blood sugar.
Why I like it:
Lemon Myrtle has an exquisite fragrance; it’s floral and citrusy at the same time. The oil is also known to be able to dissolve kidney stones. On top of the obvious effect on molluscum contagiosum, Lemon Myrtle is great for skin care in general.
3) Sandalwood Essential Oil
Botanical name: Santalum album.
- Sandalwood is a very good antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal.
- It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative. The latter refers to the ability of the oil to inhibit cell growth. This is mighty important when dealing with an infection that spreads very fast. And molluscum contagiosum spreads very easily. Another study on patients aged 22 months – 29 years, used Sandalwood oil topically. The patients had to apply it on the spots, twice a day, for 12 weeks. 9 of 10 patients healed completely from the molluscum bumps. None of them experienced any side effects like pain or irritation.
- Sandalwood oil for molluscum can also stimulate lymphatic action and improve circulation.
- It has calming and sedating effects on the nervous system.
- Santalum album is not the same as Santalum austrocaledonicum or Amyris balsamifera. They’re all 3 different essential oils. Only Amyris is an acceptable replacement for true Sandalwood.
- The Santalum album tree is a protected species because of deforestation. Its oil yield is very low. A hundred kilos (220 pounds) of bark can barely produce 500 grams (18 ounces) of essential oil.
- The oil should not be used by asthmatic and epileptic people. Those with hormonal or kidney problems should also avoid the oil.
- Avoid using Sandalwood oil if you’re on anticoagulants too.
- Because it’s a protected species, it’s extremely hard to find.
Why I like it:
Sandalwood is very fragrant. It smells woody, sweet, spicy and oriental. This and its benefits make it an amazing molluscum contagiosum remedy. The oil is great for anxiety and skin care in general.
Other good essential oils for molluscum contagiosum:
More common essential oils (you probably have at home) to use for molluscum:
- Oregano – Using Oregano essential oil for molluscum contagiosum can also work. It has strong antiviral/antibiotic effects. Oregano is sometimes used to treat warts too.
- Clove – Another very powerful essence, Clove oil for molluscum can prevent its spreading. It also has sedating and pain relieving effects. Clove oil can also stimulate the nervous and immune system.
- Frankincense – Treating molluscum with Frankincense is another good option. The oil is a proven anti-inflammatory. It can stimulate the collagen production and speeds up tissue healing. Frankincense oil is effective in all molluscum blends.
If you’re a doTERRA fan, you should be able to use their oils for molluscum too. You can go for their proprietary blend called On Guard. Or you can go for their essential oil called Arborvitae. The latter is extracted from the Thuja plicata plant.
doTERRA’s Arborvitae is another good essential oil for molluscum contagiosum. Thuja is also antiviral and antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stimulant.
How to Use Essential Oils for Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum is a virus. Diffusing essential oils regularly can kill viruses and bacteria in the air. In other words, you can use them to purify the air and prevent viral infections.
I recommend using a high-quality aroma diffuser like a nebulizer. Diffuse a few drops for 20 – 30 minutes only. You can repeat every 2 hours or longer, and always in a well-ventilated room. Read this post to find out how to diffuse your oils properly and why it’s important to do so.
The best and most direct method of treating molluscum naturally is a topical application. Always dilute your essential oils first. Otherwise, they can sensitize or even burn the skin. Mix 6 – 15 drops of essential oil for molluscum contagiosum/ Oz carrier oil. This ratio is for an adult.
For teens, you’ll have to use a lot less. A doctor should be able to tell you exactly how much. He will consider the age, gender, skin, and health of your child when establishing a dose.
You can also add some drops of antiviral oils in an aromatic bath. Just remember to always mix them with salt, milk, honey or even shower gel. Otherwise, they don’t mix with water and they can’t disperse properly.
Does apple cider vinegar cure molluscum contagiosum? I found no scientific proof of this affirmation to be true. I know that vinegar is an old remedy and sometimes very effective too. But it seems it’s not with molluscum contagiosum.
There’s this case of a 14-year old girl trying to remove a birthmark with apple cider vinegar. All she managed was to chemically burn her skin. The area was eroded and creased after just 3-days use.
The acetic acid found in common vinegar is enough to erode the skin and cause chemical burns. The effect is especially severe if you apply a bandage on it. So no, I would not recommend using apple cider vinegar to cure molluscum contagiosum.
It’s always wise to ask a medical professional before trying natural remedies. Vinegar might work in certain amounts, diluted with the right amount of water. But this is something only a doctor would know.
Essential Oil Recipes for MC
Time to get practical! I have a few aromatherapy recipes for molluscum you can try. Pick whichever you like or can make. Just keep in mind that I’ve used very small amounts of essential oils.
It might be necessary to add more or less, depending on many factors. Please talk to a medical professional about this type of treatment, to get the right dosage.
Molluscum Contagiosum Recipe for Adults
- Tea Tree essential oil: 2 drops
- Lemon Myrtle essential oil: 3 drops
- Sandalwood essential oil: 2 drops
- Macadamia oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Give the blend a good shake and apply only on the molluscum bumps. Apply 2 – 3 times a day for at least 10 days. I suggest going to regular checkups to follow the progress up close.
Molluscum Rescue Spray Recipe
- Lavender hydrosol: 1 ½ Oz (45ml)
- Basil essential oil: 4 drops
- Aloe Vera gel: 2 teaspoons
Mix the essential oil with the gel first, then mix them both with the hydrosol. Give the bottle a good shake before use. Apply on the affected area, twice a day.
Synergistic Molluscum Aromatherapy Blend
- Tea Tree essential oil: 3 drops
- Niaouli essential oil: 2 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 1 drop
- Tamanu/ Macadamia/ Hemp oil: 1 Oz. (30ml)
Apply only to the affected area(s), 2 – 3 times a day and visit with your doctor to make sure everything’s going well.
Fast Molluscum Contagiosum Facts, plus Tips to Prevent the Infection
An infection is easy to contract. Molluscum contagiosum has a long incubation time (7 weeks). It can be very hard (or impossible) to know exactly where you got it or who you got it from.
But what are the signs and symptoms of a molluscum infection?
- Small, round and waxy bumps. They can be pink or skin-colored.
- They also have a dark colored spot in the center.
- Sometimes, they can also itch. There’s rarely any pain though.
What causes molluscum infection? The infection is caused by the molluscum virus. It can be contracted from infected people by touch. If you wear their clothes or wipe with a used towel, you can also get the virus.
Molluscum contagiosum facts:
- Molluscum spreads fast if the person scratches the bumps. It spreads to other parts of the body and other people.
- It affects mostly children between 2 – 10 years old.
- A person with no other health problems can have about 20 – 30 molluscum bumps. People with weak immune systems have more.
- The most common places in which the infection manifests itself are the armpits. The space behind the knees, the eyes, and the groin are also favored.
- It takes about 18 months or more to clear on its own.
Molluscum Contagiosum Prevention Tips
People may become infected with molluscum contagiosum more than once. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prevent future infections. Or to prevent others from contracting the infection.
- Most importantly, do not scratch, scrape or squeeze the bumps. This makes the disease highly contagious. It can also leave serious scars and damage to the skin.
- Whenever possible, keep the affected areas covered.
- Avoid using used towels or clothes and don’t lend yours to anyone either.
- Avoid going to public showers or baths.
- Cover your bumps with a waterproof bandage before swimming.
- The infection can also be transmitted sexually, so make sure you use a condom.
- Wash your hands after using public bathrooms.
- Diffuse Aromatherapy oils to disinfect the air to prevent the spreading of the infection to others.
Battling molluscum contagiosum is not fun. It takes a very long time to heal, even with treatment. Fortunately, we have the option to choose to get rid of it in less than half of its normal healing time.
Now you know about some good essential oils for molluscum contagiosum too. They’re proven antivirals and can also help the skin heal faster. Medical studies show great potential and encouraging results. What do you think about this alternative therapy for molluscum?