Molluscum Contagiosum is a relatively harmless viral skin condition. It causes round, firm, yet painless bumps to form anywhere on the skin. Anyone can get it, but it is most common in children under ten years old. Within 6 to 12 months, in some cases longer than 12 months, the lesions usually go away on their own, or other treatments can help remove them. Either way, managing molluscum contagiosum is a must to prevent spreading it. Here are some tips you can use.
Tips for Managing Molluscum Contagiosum
Managing molluscum contagiosum starts by preventing it from spreading to other skin areas and helping to control the itch.
- Reduce Scratching– Avoid scratching the bumps and ask the dermatologist about hydrocortisone for controlling the itch.
- Wash Hands– Keep the bumps clean and wash your hands after touching infected areas.
- Moisturize– Moisturize daily to prevent dry skin from becoming itchy.
- Two Towels– Use one towel for drying affected areas and separate one for non-affected regions.
Tips to Avoid Spreading Molluscum Contagiosum to Others
The bumps are itchy. When scratched or injured, they can spread to the surrounding skin. Others can get it by sharing items between someone infected or through skin-to-skin contact. It is highly contagious, so to avoid spreading it to others, keep these tips in mind:
- Cover Bumps: Keep infected skin areas covered in public spaces like school, work, or sports.
- How to Cover: Use waterproof bandages or clothing
- Separate Baths: Bathe children separately from those with MC.
- Sleep Separate: Have affected child sleep alone.
- No Sharing: Don’t share personal items like washcloths, towels, sports equipment, etc. Bring separate items for the child to use.
How it’s Treated
If your child has a healthy immune system, the bumps will eventually go away on their own. Once all bumps are gone, so is the contagion. Understandably, their pediatrician may not recommend treatment. If your provider advises removal, there are options available. Methods can be painful, but an anesthetic can always be applied for comfort. Options include scraping, freezing, or using a medicine that creates a blister and lifts off the bumps.
Waiting it out and removal of bumps each have some pros and cons. However, with a child, neither is an easy feat. Clinical research studies and the volunteers participating in them are vital to improving the management and available treatments of this viral skin condition. Texas Dermatology currently seeks participants to enroll in research studies looking into potential new options for children with molluscum contagiosum symptoms. To learn more, visit our website, or call (210) 852-2779.