Efficacy and safety of topical application of 15% and 10% potassium hydroxide for the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum

Concepció Teixidó, Olga Díez, Josep R. Marsal, Maria Giner-Soriano, Helena Pera, Mireia Martinez, Gisela Galindo-Ortego, Joan A. Schoenenberger, Jordi Real, Ines Cruz, Rosa Morros

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13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Background/Objectives: Molluscum contagiosum is the most common skin infection in children. One topical treatment used for Molluscum contagiosum is potassium hydroxide. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of potassium hydroxide topical treatment at different concentrations with that of placebo in terms of complete clearing of Molluscum contagiosum lesions and to assess the safety and tolerance of potassium hydroxide topical treatment. Methods: This was a double-blind randomized clinical trial of three treatments (potassium hydroxide 10%, potassium hydroxide 15%, placebo) applied once daily up to complete clearing of lesions (maximum duration 60 days) in 53 children aged 2-6 years in primary health care pediatric offices in Catalonia, Spain. Results: In the intention-to-treat analysis, potassium hydroxide 10% (58.8%, P =.03) and potassium hydroxide 15% (64.3%, P =.02) had efficacy superior to that of placebo (18.8%). The number of Molluscum contagiosum lesions was significantly reduced with potassium hydroxide 10% and 15%. The main efficacy outcome was achieved in 58.8% of children in the potassium hydroxide 10% group (P =.03 vs placebo) and in 64.3% of children in the potassium hydroxide 15% group (P =.02 vs placebo). Potassium hydroxide 10% and 15% were not significantly different in efficacy from each other. Potassium hydroxide 10% and placebo were better tolerated than potassium hydroxide 15%. No adverse events were reported during the study period. Conclusions: Potassium hydroxide 10% and 15% demonstrated high rates of efficacy in clearing Molluscum contagiosum lesions, with potassium hydroxide 10% being better tolerated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-342
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • efficacy
  • paediatrics
  • potassium hydroxide
  • randomized clinical trial
  • safety
  • skin infections


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