Oh, man. I miss chickenpox.
This may just be anecdotal, but it seems to me that since modern medicine created the chickenpox vaccine, we have been dealing with a new litany of bugs that I have zero memory of during my 80s childhood
Back in my day, our parents threw us together in a room when there was a chickenpox outbreak so that we could just get it over with already. They would hang back, letting us get infected, and then take us home and spend a week slathering us head to toe in pepto-pink calamine lotion and giving us oatmeal baths.
Well, that’s done. We don’t have to worry about that again. Now onto the perm and bad haircut decisions.
I’m sure that the emergence of the chickenpox vaccine felt very freeing – oooh no more chickenpox parties. This is truly a marvel.
But what they may not have anticipated was the seemingly new struggle of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease or Molluscum.
*Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor. I just play one on Google. I’m sure these diseases were around when I was a kid but they were not as widespread or well-known as chickenpox.
If you’ve have dealt with molluscum, I’m sure you just quivered in fear. If you haven’t, please bookmark this page ASAP.
In November of 2017, we noticed three small bumps on my oldest child’s knee. They were skin colored and raised but didn’t bother him. They were so small, I almost wondered if they had always been there and I somehow hadn’t noticed.
By December, the bumps started showing up on his stomach – larger and more clustered. We took him to the pediatrician and he told us that it was molluscum – a viral rash that is extremely contagious and often passed in public pools and shared towels.
He then told me that there is no treatment for molluscum and that it can last up to 18 months on average.
I’m sorry, what?
Nope. That’s a lot of nope.
I get that it’s a virus and it has to run its course but by February, there was a cluster on his knee and it was spreading more on his stomach. The once innocuous bumps were now getting red. And angry.
But not as angry as a strong-willed mama.
I don’t like to sit back and wait. Waiting is not my thing. I immediately took to Amazon and spent hours reading basically every review until I finally found a regimen that felt achievable to ensure that my boy was cured and swim-ready in time for summer camp.
Below is the regimen that we followed and had great success with. It took us about two months of extreme consistency but the bumps eventually faded. Now, at the start of May, all that was left are very light pink marks – but the bumps are gone.
Full disclaimer – this may not work for you. And again, the only medical degree I have is from the University of Google and Amazon. So … proceed at your own discretion!
Each night we did the following:
- Clean each bump with hydrogen peroxide using a cotton ball – be mindful not to touch other parts of the skin to keep it from spreading
- Treat each bump with Zymaderm – a homeopathic from Amazon.
- Top each bump off with Conzerol cream – we got ours from Amazon but as of the time of my writing this, it doesn’t seem to be available there so I have linked to their Facebook page so you can see what it looks like.
*Some people choose to put a Band-Aid over each bump as the Conzerol is dark brown but our bumps were too far gone for this and I would have had to buy stock in Band-Aid just to catch up.
Then the next morning, we would clean off the Conzerol and treat with Zymaderm again. We were also mindful to have our son shower rather than bathe. He never wore the same pajamas between laundry days and he used a fresh towel and washcloth each night.
After the first few weeks, the bumps got angry. They were extremely red and raised – to the point where I was concerned I was doing more harm than good. However, soon after the “angry” bumps – they started to shrink and fade. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel – and I’m so grateful because summer camp is upon us and they go to the pool 3 times a week. We also do swimming lessons every summer so I was very concerned as I didn’t want to risk it spreading more … or worse, infecting others.
Now that we are on the other side of molluscum, I find myself wistfully looking back at the chickenpox with nostalgia. A week of calamine lotion vs. two months of Conzerol cream? Yes, please.