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Molluscum Contagiosum

by Dr. Shubhada Bichu
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Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin infection caused by one type of Pox-virus.  It is not harmful and usually does not have any other symptoms.

This infection causes small pink or skin-colored bumps with a shiny pearl-like appearance and slightly depressed center on your child’s skin.

The virus is inside the bumps and is mildly contagious. The virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact or by contact with an object with the virus on it, such as a used towel or washcloth.

These bumps usually clear over time.

Treatment

Treatment is usually only recommended for older children and adults when the spots are particularly unsightly and affect quality of life, or for people with weakened immune systems.

In such cases, treatments that may be offered include:

  • Medicinal liquids, gels or creams that are applied directly to the skin (Cantharidin, Imiquimod) after doctor’s prescription.
  • Minor procedures such as cryotherapy (where the spots are removed by freezing them)
  • Mechanical removal by procedures like curettage.

Prevention

Steps to avoid spreading the virus to other people.

  • Avoid sharing towels, flannels and clothing.
  • Avoid squeezing or scratching the spots – as well as increasing the risk of the infection spreading, this can cause pain.
  • Bleeding and can lead to scarring

Keep affected areas of skin covered with clothing whenever possible – a waterproof bandage can be put over the area if you go swimming.

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