Molluscum contagiosum is a common, mild skin disease caused by a pox virus. Although it can occur at any age, it is most common in children 1 to 10 years old.
What are the symptoms of molluscum contagiosum?
Tiny “pinpoints” appear on the skin 1 to 6 months after exposure. These turn into pinkish-white bumps or wart like growths, that are smooth and shiny, have a dip in the middle and have a milky-white cheesy material inside. Bumps can appear anywhere on the body.
How is molluscum contagiosum spread?
It is spread by direct contact with the skin of an infected person. Scratching can also cause the infection to spread. The disease doesn’t spread from person to person easily and outbreaks are rare.
How long is molluscum contagiosum contagious?
As long as the lesions are present.
How is molluscum contagiosum treated?
Molluscum is harmless and will disappear after several months without treatment. If the growths are really bothersome, a doctor will prescribe a topical medication or remove them by scraping or freezing.
More to know
- Children with molluscum can continue to attend child care or school.
- Do not engage in close contact sports while lesions are present.
- Do not share towels or bedding with others while lesions are present.
- Wash hands frequently and properly to prevent direct contact transmission.
- Covering the lesions is not necessary and may be difficult if there are many. Keeping the lesions tightly covered for extended periods may lead to bacterial infection and scarring.
- If a child picks at the lesions cover them with a loose gauze dressing.