Challenges in Getting Care for a Common US Skin Disease

Caregivers sought many different providers for treatment and found it challenging to find a medical provider that could recommend treatment”

— Pearl Kwong MD, PhD

WEST CHESTER , PA, UNITED STATES, July 12, 2021 / — Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection of the skin that mainly affects children, immunocompromised patients and sexually active adults. Signs and symptoms associated with this infection include pain, itching and, as a result, secondary bacterial infections. Given the high prevalence of disease and possible chronicity of the symptoms, patients may attempt home remedies given that there are no FDA-approved treatments for molluscum.

Molluscum is one of the five most prevalent skin disease worldwide, yet there are few studies reporting on quality of life (QoL). While some studies have investigated this issue, the questionnaires used in these studies may not be representative of the daily issues that patients with molluscum, or more importantly their caregivers, face. These studies have not investigated the patient’s journey, specifically diagnosis and treatment details of molluscum.

Pearl Kwong MD, PhD, and co-authors, surveyed caregivers (parents and guardians) of children diagnosed with molluscum by a physician. 154 subjects responded to the survey who were 18 years of age or older and had at least one child who was diagnosed with molluscum by a physician in the past 4 years between 3 years and 16 years of age in the home. Caregivers consulted many different types of health care providers (HCPs) about their child’s molluscum including dermatologists, emergency room doctors, family practice doctors, infectious disease specialists and pediatricians. Despite this variability, half of the responders agreed that it was challenging to find a doctor who would tell caregivers about treatment options and willing to provide the treatment. Treatments including freezing with liquid nitrogen, scraping with a medical instrument, home remedies, medications from online or pharmacy, and compounded cantharidin were nearly used in equal frequency.

71% of patients agreed with the statement that “molluscum kept my child away from doing the things they love” and a quarter of the responders stated molluscum caused a major impact on their children’s life. While some previous studies found that molluscum impacts quality of life, the level of detailed information reported here is novel. According to Dr. Kwong, “A key takeaway from this study is that caregivers sought many different providers for treatment and that they found it challenging to find healthcare providers that would recommend treatments”. There remains a clear unmet need for education on diagnosis and treatment of molluscum and more research is needed to develop FDA-approved effective treatments for this common skin infection.

Melissa Olivadoti, PhD
Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Source: EIN Presswire