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March 1961

Cantharidin Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(3):504-505. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580090154021

Successful treatment of some verrucae with cantharidin1 suggested a similar treatment for another superficial viral tumor, molluscum contagiosum.

Materials and Methods  Cantharidin was prepared as a 0.9% (in contrast to Epstein and Kligman's suggested 0.7%) solution in equal parts of acetone and flexible collodion, U.S.P. A minute amount of this solution was carefully applied with an applicator stick to the dome-shaped portion of each lesion. In lesions that did not respond initially, or were 2 mm. or larger in diameter, the preparation was applied around the edges to enhance vesication and subsequent separation of the molluscum lesion. Dressings were not applied, and the patient was permitted to bathe in 4 hours, if desired. Multiple areas were treated in one office visit. In scrotal and intertriginous sites, to avoid unnecessary discomfort, alternate lesions were treated in 2 or 3 office visits.

Clinical Trials  Twelve patients with a total of 250