What is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum is a skin infection that poses no risk to your child’s overall health. This common skin disease is caused by a virus (Molluscum Contagiosum Virus). Molluscum affects children of all ages and is easily spread among children at school, day care or sports activities. Molluscum is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can also be contracted by sharing clothing and towels.
The classic molluscum skin lesion is a small pink or tan dome shaped bump with an indented middle. Sometimes parents also notice an eczema-like rash in the area of these skin lesions. Scratching and picking at lesions can indeed cause them to spread, and may result in infection or even scarring.
As molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus, the condition will persist until the immune system clears the virus. In many children, molluscum can persist for several months, sometimes even more than a year. Once again, it is important to understand that this condition is benign, and that a persistent case does not at all indicate a weakened immune system. Your dermatologist will provide a customized treatment plan to help clear your child’s molluscum infection as quickly as possible.
What is the treatment for molluscum?
There are many treatment options available for molluscum. Topical creams (imiquimod, tretinoin) might be used alone or in conjunction with other procedures aimed at eliminating the lesions. Procedures performed in dermatologist offices to remove molluscum lesions include cryotherapy (light freezing), curettage (scraping), and cantharidin (beetlejuice!) application. These procedures typically result in a formation of a blister beneath the lesion, which allows the body to naturally shed the growth.
Your dermatologist will formulate a treatment plan that will minimize discomfort and speed resolution of this bothersome condition.