Introduction/Background: Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection, caused by the Poxviridae family, that frequently affects children. The most common destructive treatment used in our setting is curettage. However, due to the pain and discomfort that patients may experience during the procedure, an alternative treatment option is necessary. Garlic has demonstrated antiviral activity and may be a potential alternative treatment.
Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of 75% garlic lipid extract versus curettage in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial of 25 patients, aged 3-15 years old, with molluscum contagiosum were treated with either 75% garlic lipid extract or curettage. The garlic lipid extract was applied by the patient twice daily for 4 consecutive weeks or until erythema and erosions developed. Curettage was performed on the patient assigned to the curettage group with topical application of lidocaine one hour before the procedure. Patients were followed up on days 7, 14, 21, 28 and 56. Clinical remission (complete clearance) or treatment failure were assessed after 8 weeks (day 56) from start of treatment.
Results: In the garlic group, 130/166 (78.31%) lesions achieved clinical remission (complete clearance) whereas 154/178 (87%) lesions showed clinical remission (complete clearance) in the curettage group after 8 weeks.
Conclusion: This study shows that 75% garlic lipid extract has efficacy in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum and it can potentially be a potentially safe and cost-effective alternative topical treatment for molluscum contagiosum especially for children who cannot tolerate the pain of curettage.
Garlic, Allium sativum, Garlic lipid extract, Molluscum contagiosum, Curettage
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