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This site was pretty helpful so I wanted to relay my experience and lessons learned. I am not a medical professional but do have an advanced degree in engineering and the sciences. My lessons learned are below.
STATE OF MIND
Having MC sucked, full stop. I did not know what it was. I did not know how to treat it effectively. It took a while to find competent medical help. And I was repeatedly told that it could last several years. I will not belabor this point except that it was helpful to read many of the other folks on this site discuss the challenges that they faced and I can completely relate to the emotional challenges you face.
As I read through the medical literature, MC was constantly described as a nuisance virus and it was obvious that little effort had been expended to try to find a cure, effective remedies, or even understand the disease at all. This was also a source of frustration because the disease strongly impacted my life.
Over time, I assumed ownership and responsibility over my own battle with MC and recommend that you do the same.
I was initially misdiagnosed and learned that a number of primary care doctors have never heard of MC.
I saw 5 different dermatologists and would only rate 2 as reasonably competent. One dermatologist told me that I would be cured 24 hours after my first cryo-treatment.
I saw two different urologists for unrelated issues but discussed MC. One was incredibly helpful and the other was not.
Treatment options fall into 3 categories
(1) Local destruction of MC - when a bump appears, you destroy it by freezing or acid or curettage or laser or some other means.
(2) Local excitation of Immune System - when a bump appears, you apply a substance that irritates the immune system in that area and gets the body to attack the virus.
(3) Turbo charge your Immune System - more on this below.
My recommendation is to do (1) or (2) AND (3).
Everyone recommends that, as soon as a bump appears, you want to do (1) or (2) to eliminate it as quickly as possible. I personally tried a lot of different ways to physically eliminate the bumps and found freezing with liquid nitrogen to be the best (and least destructive). I even looked into getting my own liquid nitrogen from a supply store but it is very expensive. The wart freezing stuff seems to be reasonably effective as well and MUCH cheaper and you can do it yourself. I never tried curettage.
The turbo charge your overall immune system is what I haven't seen discussed much so I wanted to document my experiences. I believe this is possibly the single most effective way to shorten your time with MC. The reason I believe this is that some folks get MC and it is horrible and lasts for years and others either never get it or have a few bumps and it goes away. The only explanation that I have for this is variation in immune systems.
My infection started with one bump and then ballooned to dozens all over my body. My doctors said I was in for the long hall -- 12 to 18 months -- and one doctor gasped and said it was the worst adult case he had seen in years. However, I started doing the things below 3 months into my experience with relentless intensity and my entire MC experience lasted about 6 months.
First, drink LOTS of water. I was drinking 60-100 extra ounces of water a day. Many people say that drinking water helps to clear up your skin so this makes a lot of sense intuitively. This "treatment" option is both easy and inexpensive and has tons of additional benefits. I cannot recommend this option enough.
Second, do all of the things you would do to be extremely healthy. Cut out all alcohol, eat lots of vegetables, eat less sugar, eat as healthily as you can, get lots of sleep, etc. Again, this treatment option is relatively inexpensive and has a ton of benefits.
Third, I seemed to have good success with Cimetidine/Tagamet at high dosage (1000 - 2000mg per day). This drug has been shown to have effectiveness against all sorts of viruses including MC (and HPV and herpes and others). Unfortunately, it is off patent and no one is running the trials necessary to flesh out its true capabilities. Note that Walmart sells this OTC for a VERY low price. Also, note that I ramped up my dosage slowly over time to see if there were any side effects.
One of the most difficult parts of MC was being able to identify what was MC and what was something else, like folliculitis. I highly recommend training yourself using photos from the Internet as MC have a pretty distinct appearance (as compared to many other things that cause red bumps).
I wish you the best of luck.
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