Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection of the skin that typically affects children between the ages of 1 and 8. This viral infection causes small bumps on the skin that are raised, pink or skin colored, and highly contagious. Molluscum contagiosum can spread from person to person with direct contact and contaminated objects (e.g. bath towels, articles of clothing). The virus can also spread on a person’s body if the bumps are scratched or injured. This viral infection typically goes away on its own, but it can take up to four years for a child to be rid of the virus. Dermatologists can assist in removal of molluscum contagiosum if the bumps are bothersome or embarrassing to those infected.

Bumps from molluscum contagiosum appear shortly after a child has been exposed to the virus. In children, bumps typically appear on the trunk, armpits, behind the knees, face, hands, and arms. Because of the typical locations of this virus, they are easily irritated by clothing or movement; thus, the spreading of the virus from one location of the body to another is highly likely. Consulting a dermatologist is always recommended when parents suspect their child has molluscum contagiosum in order to assess the seriousness of the condition and to determine proper next steps.

A dermatologist can usually diagnose molluscum contagiosum simply by looking at it. The common appearance of the virus makes it easily discernable. While molluscum contagiosum will eventually go away, many patients wish to be rid of the virus quickly. However, treatments for molluscum contagiosum can be painful and result in scarring and discoloration of the skin. It is important to speak with your dermatologist about your child’s viral infection and the pros and cons of treatment in order to determine what is best for your child. Making an appointment as soon as the bumps appear is the best first step in treating molluscum contagiosum.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Doctors