The skin condition known as Molluscum Contagiosum results from poxvirus, a common virus infecting the upper layers of your child’s skin. It can affect children of any age, but is most common in those under ten years old. It can easily spread among children at day care or at school.
Molluscum Contagiosum is characterized by small pinkish or skin toned growths with a dome shape and an indented middle. Molluscum can affect any area of the skin but occurs most often on the legs, arms, or trunk of the body. The virus can spread by direct or skin-to-skin contact, and also through sharing items like towels or clothing.
Eczema is commonly seen in children with Molluscum and patches of eczema often develop around the lesions. Parents should recognize that scratching due to eczema or picking the bumps can cause them to spread. In addition, bleeding and even scarring can occur. Occasionally a secondary bacterial infection known as impetigo can also develop around the affected areas.
Molluscum is contagious as long as any bumps are present. If not treated, this can last a number of months and occasionally years.
There are several treatment options available. Topical treatments, including podophyllotoxin 0.5% cream, tretinoin, imiquimod cream, or cantharidin may be used alone, or in conjunction with surgical procedures such as laser therapy, curettage, or cryotherapy. Topical treatments most often result in a blister or scab to developing beneath the lesion, which allows the body to naturally shed the growth.
Typically, several treatment sessions are needed for complete elimination of the Molluscum. New lesions may form after treatment. This is normal; in many cases these bumps had begun developing prior to treatment, but were too small to see.
The experienced physicians at Sanova Dermatology can help with all aspects of pediatric skin care.
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