What is molluscum?
Molluscum is a virus spread by skin contact that appears most commonly in children and appears as a few small pink bumps with a central white core. It usually is not bothersome to the child and will go away in a few months. However, if it continues to spread or persist after a few months, non-painful treatment options may help.
How does molluscum spread?
The virus commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact. This includes touching or scratching the bumps and then touching the skin. Handling objects that have the virus on them, such as a towel, can also result in infection. The virus can spread from one part of the body to another or other people. The virus can be spread among children at daycare or at school. Molluscum is contagious until the bumps are gone-which, if untreated,
What are the symptoms?
The small, round, indented bumps are usually about 3 mm to 5 mm in size (a little smaller than a pencil eraser). The bumps are painless. They may appear alone or in groups. They are most often found on the trunk, face, eyelids or genital area. In adults, the bumps can be located in the genital area. The bumps may become inflamed and turn red as part of the body’s natural immune system response as it fights the virus.
The incubation period-the time from exposure to the virus until the bumps appear-is usually 2 to 7 weeks but can be up to 6 months. In people who have an impaired immune system, such as HIV infection, symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are more severe.
How is molluscum treated?
Some people choose to remove the bumps because they are embarrassed by them, or to keep them from spreading to other people. Health professionals usually recommend treating bumps located in the genital area to prevent them from spreading.
If needed, treatment choices include:
- Removing the viral material in the center by scraping the center briskly (curettage)
- Putting medication on the skin (topical medication)
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
Request a consultation in Meridian, Idaho
If you like to have your skin examined by a board-certified dermatologist, schedule a consultation today. Dr. Brooks will diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment option, if necessary. Give us a call at (208) 888-0660 or request your consultation online.