Return to
Japan With Kids Home Page

Forum Main Page
Keyword Search
New Posts
Last Week

Getting Started
Register Here
Edit Profile
Contact Admin

For Admins
Forum Software

Molluscum Contagiosum - Mizuibo

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Molluscum Contagiosum - Mizuibo
By Cornelia on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 - 7:58 am:

Firstly, "mizuibo" are basically totally harmless and no one is going to die.

"Mizuibo", for which I have no English translation at this time, seems to hit young kids around this time of year. The conventional wisdom says they get it in swimming pools (maybe also public bath houses?). They look like a bunch of tiny skin flap or bump shaped warts (no larger than the head of a pin)which usually start in an arm pit, but with a bit of scratching start spreading all over. They might go away on their own given time. But that was not my experience.

My daughter at about 3 years old got about three of these warts in late December of 1999. We had not been in any swimming pools since late September. After about a week I noticed that there were six of these bumps, so I hauled her to my pediatrician (who is a treasure and I've listed her in the pediatrician section). She immediately diagnosed "mizuibo" and told me that they either go away on their own or they spread, and the only other way to really get rid of them is to pluck them off. I figured that plucking 6 warts off now would save me a lot of trouble and was ready to do the dirty deed of holding my kid down, but the dear doctor lost her nerve for it after 3 warts. (Her kids have grown up and left the house so she doesn't haven't the stomach for the inevitable noise which the rest of the world can interpret as nothing less than a murder taking place.) True, it doesn't look like fun since they are being yanked off with tweezers. Unfortunately when I got home, my eye-brow tweezers did not really have the power and you really need two people, one for the yanking and one for holding down the victim. Our lack of forbearance lead to further grief down the road. Within another four months my daughter had about 35-40 of these warts growing on her upper torso.

So we went to my pediatrician again. At this point they were quite obvious and I had heard that she might be quarantined from the swimming pool at her hoikuen (daycare) when the teachers saw her condition, and pool season was coming up. She sent me across the hall to the hifuka on duty that day (dermatologist) who happened to speak great English and was extremely efficient. He circled every wart with a black pen. A nurse and I held my daughter down and he removed all of them in about 3 minutes. My daughter enforced total adherance to her edict that every single of her 38 wounds needed a bandaid and a candy bar completed a total recovery (June 2000).

And she has never had them again since. I listed the dermatologist also... look under "Doctors".

The reason I am telling this story here and now, is that a dear girlfriend of mine just had her kid diagnosed with a type of multiple tumor by a doctor at Aiku Hospital which was to require twice weekly visits for medication at some other clinic, etc., etc. She had the presence of mind to get a second opinion and it turned out that the problem was nothing more than "mizuibo". She also mentioned that the second pediatrician whom she visited did not attempt to remove any at all insisting that it had to be done by a dermatology specialist. If you suspect "mizuibo" you might want to skip the inbetween stuff and go straight to a dermatologist who has experience with little kids.

I hope someone can get a translation of mizuibo into English for me?

By Kit Nagamura on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 11:41 am:

Well, all the hubbub about this skin disease inspired me to go consult an English-speaking doctor. The actual name for mizuibo is Mollescum Contagiosum, a viral infection which produces papules (there's the word!), or little raised bumbs which look like tiny blisters, often with a slight "bellybutton" in the center. Left untreated, they can spread (20 to 50 is the norm). If they are scratched, they spread (to others as well as on the infected person), and scarring is a concern. The main treatment is to remove the blisters (a painful experience) and keep dry under a bandage, or use liquid nitrogen (but this is, I hear, more painful than picking them off). There is also a topical medicine, Cantharone, but this is usually considered unnecessary and costly. The virus can spontaneously disappear in anywhere from ten to twenty-four months, but it's wise to take care of things as fast as you can, and the papules can spread to the face and genitals, as well as present an infection risk to others.

Not totally cheerful news, but I sure hope it helps!

By Admin on Saturday, January 19, 2002 - 8:06 am:

I figured out that it is spelled slightly incorrectly and also that there is no "common" name for this when I tried to do some internet searches for this condition. I have included the correct spelling now in the title of this discussion. Sometimes it is referred to as "MCV", where the "V" stands for virus.

Here is one Canadian mother writing on the subject at:

Her experience may be slightly different from the typical one here with Japanese doctors, but she gave an excellent description of it and writes with a great sense of humor.

It is a viral infection, and though it can occur at any age, the peak incidence is in children under age 5.

There are some pictures of it at:
but these seem to be of extreme cases. My daugter's case did not get to the point of having such intense clusters (or perhaps I was pretty quick to do something about them since health care is quite readily available here).

Apparently it is often linked to STDs in adults on the web. I guess this means that these adults never had it as children or something.

By Janine Boyd on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 10:08 pm:

My doctor called them water warts. Same advice as the others, that the warts would dissapear as mysteriously as they arrived or you coud alternatively have them plucked....his word was,....cut out. The have a sticky patch to initially deaden the sensitivity in the area before cutting. Ask for them, they cost a little but its kinder.

I had a go at poping a few myself but it was painful for my 6 yr old so we decided to wait and see. In 6 mnths they had spread all over her legs and her brother got them even worse than her as he has eczma.

I have had the kids shower instead of having a bath together to stop the spreading and to my suprise last night I notice they were all gone from my daughter without a trace. I had been concentrating on my son and not noticed until they were gone. Took 6 months.

My advice is to take the painless track. Shower, avoid pools, wear pajamas to stop leg to leg spreading and wait. it certainly saved some tears.


By Janine Boyd on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 5:34 pm:

they are stubborn little things....the warts not my children. Anyway now its 9 months down the track and the little baby warts keep making new ones and they old ones take too long to
my advice changes. Rather than being excluded from the kindergarten pool all summer its better to bite the bullet and get rid of the warts before they take over the planet.!
especially if your child has eczma which leaves the skin so receptive to water warts like my 2 yr old boy.
Leave the big warts alone. They hurt too much to pluck off and they are close to dying off anyway so not as contagious as the little ones.
As the new ones appear scratch the top with a needle and finish the job with a scratch of your fingernail. Very fast and safer than trying to get the whole thing out with a needle. I could get 6-10 in 2 minutes each morning till we got rid of every last one. Dont use tweezers. They seem to pull off more skin than necesssary and I could never get an immediate grip on the warts with them.
The needle and fingernail scratch method appears to be the fastest and least painful way I have discovered.
Doing it yourself is also less scarey for your child than having the doctor (a stranger) do it. Why add to the stress


By Helen Kihara on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 9:57 am:

We used ZymaDerm for Molluscum and whole family was cleared within 2 month. It doesn't sting and my 2 years old son had no problem using it.I placed order at They do ship internationally (6USD priority shipping). We ordered two bottles but used only one.
It took a month of daily applications to see any result. After a month the recovery was rapid. Also the jojoba beads soap included in the package works great. The company advice to use it only if there is no improvement after a month but I would advice using it right away. It great for skin anyways. I still use it as regular soap and my skin is feels very smooth and healthy.
I'd be happy to share more details on our experience fighting Molluscum. Please email me privately at

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.