Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
Users Online: 590 | Home Print this page Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-51

Molluscum contagiosum: A novel Ayurvedic approach

1 Department of Agada Tantra, SJG Ayurveda Medical College, Koppal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Agada Tantra, KLEU Shri BMK Ayurved Mahavidhyalaya, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication18-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
Shivanand B Kalasannavar
M.D.(Ayu), Department of Agada Tantra, SJG Ayurveda Medical College, Koppal, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: KLE Ayurveda Hospital Belgaum, Karnataka, India., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.134606

Rights and Permissions

Three cases of molluscum contagiosum (MC) approached our outpatient Department of Dermatology complaining of umbilicated, skin-colored, firm, painless papules over the neck and face. All of them were immune competent. The medical, social, and family history was insignificant. The lesions were, numerous and recurrent. However, MC in healthy people is a self-limiting disease, but it will take about 18 months to resolve by its own. Hence, the treatment becomes necessary to accelerate the healing process, preventing its spread and for cosmetic reasons. Most of the contemporary treatment methods such as cryotherapy, curettage, and topical application of caustic agents are effective but produce local side-effects such as erythema, tenderness, itching, burning sensation, and pain. The present study reports the efficacy of external application of Pratisaraṇīya Kṇāra (the type of Alkali used for smearing over the affected area) and Bilvādi Agada tablet orally in three cases, which yielded encouraging results.

Keywords: Ajagallikā, Bilvādi Agada, molluscum contagiosum , Pratisaraniya kshara

How to cite this article:
Kalasannavar SB, Sawalgimath MP. Molluscum contagiosum: A novel Ayurvedic approach. Ancient Sci Life 2013;33:49-51

How to cite this URL:
Kalasannavar SB, Sawalgimath MP. Molluscum contagiosum: A novel Ayurvedic approach. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 24];33:49-51. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2013/33/1/49/134606

  Introduction Top

Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a self-limiting viral skin infection most commonly seen in children and is an epidermal papular condition caused by a large deoxyribonucleic acid poxvirus with the prevalence of 8-12%, respectively.[1] The typical clinical presentation consists of small, umbilicated, skin-colored, pearly papules with a predilection of the trunk, axillae, antecubital, and popliteal fossae and genital area. Incidence first peaks in preschool children.[2] The average incubation period ranges from 2 to 7 weeks. The diagnosis of MC is typically made by its clinical presentation and can be confirmed by histological demonstration of the cytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions or molluscum bodies that are characteristic of poxvirus replication.[3] The lesions are cosmetically unattractive, numerous and recurrent. However, MC in healthy people is a self-limiting disease, but it will take about 18 months to resolve by its own. Even though it is self-limiting, it is spreading nature, for cosmetic reasons and to accelerate healing, treatment is called for.

Ajagallikā is described in the context of kudraroga (Kudra = trivial; Roga = disease, the diseases which have less or no symptoms, with less pain or without pain) in the classics which is presented as snigdha (unctuous), savara (of the same color), grathita (firm), niruja (painless) and mudga sannibha akas (papules resembling green gram)[4] which analogs with MC. No specific etiology and details regarding the disease are mentioned.

Few reported cases demonstrated significant improvement with biomedicine, but side-effects were also noticed. Here, we report three cases of MC cured without any recurrences, local side-effects and scarring.

  Case reports Top

Three different cases approached our outpatient Department of Dermatology with similar complaints.

Case 1

A 5-year-old female child presented about 15 umbilicated, skin-colored, firm, painless papules over the neck, and face which appeared 15 days prior to presentation [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Case 1

Click here to view

Case 2

A 9-year-old female child approached our outpatient department complaining nine lesions over right side of the neck, which appeared a month before the presentation. The lesions resembled characteristics of MC [Figure 2].
Figure 2: (a) Before treatment (b) After treatment

Click here to view

Case 3

A male adult of 24 years showed three similar papules over the forehead and one papule close to left eye since 1 month. The patient experienced neither pain nor burning sensation nor itching [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Case 3 -(a) Before treatment (b) application of Kshara (c) after treatment

Click here to view

The pertinent medical, social, and family history was noncontributory in all. All of them were immune competent. No obvious sexual transmission was evaluated. They were clinically diagnosed as MC [Figure 1].

In the first visit, Apāmarga Kāra[4] (Alkali, prepared according to the classical method) was applied to all the lesions for 1 min in first two cases as they were pediatric and 2 min in the adult patient and then it was washed with lemon juice and then ghee was applied. Care was taken to restrict the application only to the lesions. Bilvādi Agada,[5],[6] a polyherbal tablet, was prescribed orally for 10 days at the dose of 500 mg BD for the first two, as they were pediatric cases and 1 g BD for an adult patient.

Outcome and follow-up

Slight color change in the lesions was observed on the 2nd day of the treatment. In 10 days, almost all the lesions had disappeared leaving no scar behind. Bilvādi Agada was prescribed to be continued for a fortnight as prophylaxis.

  Discussion Top

Contemporary treatments for MC include cryotherapy, curettage, and topical application of caustic agents. Commonly chosen treatment method of MC is “wait and see,” which usually resolves spontaneously after several months to years, but it is the great source of embarrassment, often limiting social activity.[7] Therapy becomes obligatory, because children may scratch the lesions and infection may spread to other parts or to other people.[8] Curettage is associated with a high risk of relapse, scarring and most frightening to children if performed repeatedly, owing to pain and fear.[9]

Seo SH et al.[1] in their comparative clinical trial between 10% KOH solution and 5% imiquimod cream reported that both are effective and safe but about 40% of patients experienced a local irritation and few patients, however, discontinued the treatment due to the local irritation. No systemic adverse effects were observed.[1] Ahmed et al.[10] in their open label study of treatment of MC with 5% imiquimod cream over 54 MC patients, demonstrated that the treatment to be safe but which produced local side effects which included erythema, tenderness, itching, burning sensations, and pain.

Consequently, we tried the Ayurvedic treatment in this condition which has yielded good response. Apāmarga Kāra[4] is an alkaline paste, prepared from the herb Apāmarga (Achyranthes aspera Linn.) which is directly indicated in Ajagallikā and conditions like Carmakīla (skin tags/warts/papules). After retaining the paste at lesions for about 1-2 min, it was washed with lemon juice (acidic), which neutralizes the Kāra and hence prevents its further infiltration. Ghee was applied to relieve the slight burning sensation, which is classically asserted.

The kāra (Alkali), possesses tīkṣṇa (penetrating) and uṣṇa (hot) properties. These properties make it capable of infiltrating deep into papules, destroy the pathologic cells and viruses and hence preventing recurrence. It acts as chemical cauterizing agent. Only one application is sufficient, if the papules don't show any change, then it can be repeated after a week. However, Pittaja conditions are contraindicated for Kārakarma.

Bilvādi Agada (BA)[6] is an antitoxic medicine (viaghna aushadhi), indicated in all animate and inanimate poisoning (Sarpavia, Lootāvia, etc., iviha and Garavia) and is mentioned as Bhūtaghna (perhaps considered as antiviral). It possesses uṣṇa vīrya (hot potency), Kaurasa (pungent taste), kaphavātahara (Mitigating Kapha and Vāta), Shūlaghna (Analgesic), Dāhashamana (calms down burning sensation), Shophaghna (anti-inflammatory), Vraāropaka (Wound healing), and Granthināśaka (papule resolving) properties. Ajagallikā is a kaphavātaja, Māmsapradoaja vyādhi hence prescribed. Studies have shown that BA and its ingredients are proven for their antiviral, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities.[5],[11]

  Conclusion Top

Three patients of MC have shown encouraging results when treated with Pratisaraīya Kāra and Bilvādi Agada. The results exhibit patient compliant, single sitting, and cost-effective management for MC or Ajagallikā without any local or systemic side-effects.

The combination of Pratisaraīya Kāra along with Bilvādi Agada (antitoxic oral medicine) when used in Kaphavāaja skin conditions like Ajagallikā give beneficial results.

  Acknowledgment Top

We are grateful to the Principal Dr. B.S. Prasad, and Dr. S.K. Hiremath, HOD Department of Agada Tantra, Dr. Sneha Kulkarni and Dr. Sukhin Arelelemath, Dr. Santosh Patil PG Scholars. KLEU Shri BMK Ayurveda Mahavidhyalaya and KLE Ayurveda Hospital Belgaum Karnataka for their support in reporting this case.

  References Top

1.Seo SH, Chin HW, Jeong DW, Sung HW. An open, randomized, comparative clinical and histological study of imiquimod 5% cream versus 10% potassium hydroxide solution in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum. Ann Dermatol 2010;22:156-62.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Theiler M, Kempf W, Kerl K, French LE, Hofbauer GF. Disseminated molluscum contagiosum in a HIV-positive child. Improvement after therapy with 5% imiquimod. J Dermatol Case Rep 2011;5:19-23.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Braunwald E, Kasper I, Petersdorf R. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Acta Endocrinol (Bucharest) 19871499. Available from: http://www.acta-endo.ro/actamedica/abstract.php?doi=2005.499. [Last accessed on 2013 Feb 16].  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Sushruta Samhita. 8 th ed. In: Singhal GD, editor. Varanasi: Chaukamba Orientalia; 2005. p. 318.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Deepthi. A comparative clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of three samples of Bilwadi Gullika prepared in different media in Dushivisha with signs and symptoms of Kitibha Kustha. Thiruvananthapuram: Government Ayurvedic Medical College; 2010. p. 60-85.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Vagbhata, Gupta A. Uttarantra 36/84. In: Yadunandan U, editor. Astanga Hrudaya. 1 st ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2005. p. 585.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Gould D. An overview of molluscum contagiosum: A viral skin condition. Nurs Stand 2008;22:45-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Manuskiatti W. Generalized molluscum contagiosum in an HIV patient treated with diphencyprone. J Dermatol Case Rep 2010;4:60-2.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Bayerl C, Feller G, Goerdt S. Experience in treating molluscum contagiosum in children with imiquimod 5% cream. Br J Dermatol 2003;149 Suppl 66:25-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Ahmed EF, Gawad MM, El-Kamel MF, El-Saied MA. Treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children with imiquimod 5% cream : An open-label study using three different dose regimens. Annal dermatol, 2008;19:156-60  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Sibel B. In vitro study on comparative effect of three different samples of Bilwadi Agada against norfloxacin and doxycyclin on selected bacteria with biochemical, fingerprinting analysis. Kottakkal: VPSV Ayurveda Medical college, Calicut university 2008.18.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Dermatoses caused by cultural practices
Neelam A. Vashi,Nicole Patzelt,Stephen Wirya,Mayra B.C. Maymone,Pedro Zancanaro,Roopal V. Kundu
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2018; 79(1): 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case reports
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded166    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal