I have to admit my baby had the bumps for a long time. They were there and then they spread before I even realized what was going on.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, molluscum contagiosum (MC) are pink bumps with a dimple in the center. They are thought about like warts, but they aren’t. They are caused by a poxvirus. They are really contagious, but doctors can’t do much for them. They supposedly go away on their own in 1-2 years.
Being a pediatric acupuncturist, I started with some acupuncture and my little one also got chiropractic adjustments. No change, except that it just kept spreading. We made sure to follow all precautions - covering the bumps, washing towels right after use, etc.
I ordered a special herbal ointment specifically made for MC and put it on the bumps several times per day. The ointment was dark green and really challenging to get on a squirming baby without getting it on everything else. I still have shirts and sheets with the ointment stains, but it didn’t seem to touch the bumps. It didn’t seem to do anything except stain everything so I abandoned that route.
I finally took my baby to see one of my mentors. He prescribed two different herbal ointments (one for the morning and one for at night) and two different tinctures for my baby to take by mouth. He also gave me an acupuncture prescription to treat my baby with. The ointments seemed to help on the new bumps, sometimes, but nothing seemed to touch the established ones. After two months of buying the herbal ointments and trying new herbal tinctures every couple of weeks, I abandoned that route as well.
I gave it a rest for a month or two while I decided if I wanted to use apple cider vinegar on the bumps. Some people said it helped, but I’d been avoiding that option because if it stung then my baby wouldn’t let me touch the bumps with anything.
Plus, I felt like the bumps needed to be handled internally. Like, putting herbs on the outside helped them heal if they were already open, but the immune system wasn’t even noticing them. I felt like we needed something that could boost the immune system from the inside so it would recognize the bumps and heal them.
The holsitic mamas on the internet seemed to LOVE elderberry. Apparently apple cider vinegar and elderberry can cure anything according to them. But, they most often talk about it in relation to boosting the immune system and they would take it when they were coming down with something or were around others who were sick. I didn’t know much about the herb so I did a little research and then, inspired by the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and Grape drink*, I put the two together. Here is what I came up with:
2 teaspoons Elderberry Syrup* (the adult dose)
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother*
8 oz of filtered water
Pour them all together, stir, and drink. Share with the affected little one once or twice per day.
I didn’t need to give that whole dose to my nursling. Because my baby was still nursing (but also eating solid foods), I allowed my little one to have as much as desired and then I drank the rest. I decided that whatever I consumed would be of benefit to my little one too.
How did I get my baby to drink a vinegary drink? I made it funny! I would take a sip and have a big reaction (making a face and a sound) and laugh. Then I would offer it to my little one who would do the same. We’d go back and forth for a few sips and then I would drink the rest. Now, my little one practically chugs half the glass before I get my turn! (We pretty much just drink it when my little one pulls the elderberry syrup out of the fridge these days. I figure it's nice to support the immune system every so often.)
Anyway, it seemed like the bumps started going away within a couple of weeks of drinking that once or twice per day, most days. I don’t even know how it happened. It was almost like they started disappearing as fast as they’d showed up initially. But they healed and never came back!
Have you ever dealt with molluscum contagiosum? How did you finally get the bumps to go away? Tell us all about it below!
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