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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dermatology & Skin Care > Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment Cost


How Much Does Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays and/or 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $50-$8,000+

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes painless bumps on the skin. It is common in children and can occur almost anywhere on the body. It is spread through objects, touching or sexual contact.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for molluscum contagiosum treatment typically consist of a doctor visit copay of $5-$30 or more, and possibly either coinsurance of 10%-50% or more for an office procedure or a prescription drug copay of $10-$85 or more, depending on the plan and whether the drug is generic, preferred or non-preferred. Molluscum contagiosum treatment typically is covered by health insurance.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of diagnosis typically includes a doctor visit and possibly a skin biopsy that can cost $150 or more.
  • Molluscum contagiosum treatment can cost nothing if the condition goes away on its own, but this can take months to more than a year. Or, it can cost $50-$1,500 or more for prescription cream, depending on the medication. For example, Drugstore.com charges about $50 for a tube of generic tretinoin cream and almost $150 for the brand-name equivalent, Retin-A. Generic podofilox solution costs about $95. Drugstore.com charges up to $2,200 or more, depending on the length of treatment, for a course of immune-boosting imiquimod cream.
  • Treatment can cost less than $500 for a doctor to remove the nodules with liquid nitrogen or another chemical. And it can cost about $1,000-$8,000 or more to have nodules surgically removed -- usually on the lower end in a doctor's office and the higher end in a hospital. For example, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[1] in Nebraska charges less than $200, not including doctor fee, for destruction of a molluscum contagiosum lesion on the genitals or anus using chemicals. Surgical excision in a doctor's office can cost hundreds of dollars, but the cost can reach thousands in a hospital. For example, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center charges[2] more than $4,000 for electrodessication of a lesion and up to more than $8,000 for surgical excision.
Related articles: Biopsy, STD Testing, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Molluscum contagiosum can be diagnosed with a visual examination and confirmed with a skin biopsy.
  • In many cases, especially if the patient does not have a compromised immune system, a doctor will recommend allowing the infection to go away on its own.
  • In some cases -- especially if cosmetic issues are a concern or the infection is contagious-- a doctor might remove individual bumps by cryosurgery, removing the core of the bump with a scalpel, or other methods. The doctor might also prescribe a topical medication such as imiquimod cream[3] , or tretinoin cream[4] .
  • The National Institutes of Health offers an overview[5] of molluscum contagiosum and treatment.
Additional costs:
  • To prevent spread to others, patients should cover the affected body part with either clothing or a bandage.
Discounts:
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a locator[6] for clinics with sliding fee scales based on income.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs. Any patient without prescription drug coverage who also is not eligible for Medicare typically qualifies for Together Rx Access[7] , a discount card that offers 25%40% off many brand-name drugs.
Shopping for molluscum contagiosum treatment:
  • A pediatrician, family doctor or dermatologist can diagnose and treat molluscum contagiosum. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a peditrician locator. The American Medical Association offers a doctor locator[8] . And the American Academy of Dermatology offers a dermatologist locator[9] .
  • In patients with HIV, molluscum contagiosum can be difficult to treat. These patients should be under the care of an HIV specialist.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a698010.html
  4.  www.medicinenet.com/tretinoin_cream/article.htm
  5.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001829/
  6.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  7.  www.togetherrxaccess.com/p/prescription-savings/about-together-rx-access/enroll.aspx
  8.  extapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/recaptcha.jsp
  9.  www.aad.org/find-a-derm
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