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Molluscum Contagiosum

 

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin problem caused by a viral infection and appears as a rash on the surface of the skin. Molluscum Contagiosum thrives in warm and humid conditions. It is caused by the Molluscum Contagiosum virus and is contagious.  It can be spread to different parts of the body, or spread from person to person. Commonly, it is spread by children from the sharing of pools and baths and through the sharing of toys. The timeframe of how long the rash is contagious for is currently unknown. The rash is most common in children between the ages of 1 and 12 years old.

 

 

Symptoms
It appears as small growths or wart-like bumps which are usually pink, white or skin-coloured. Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum usually appear 2 to 8 weeks after the virus has been caught.

 

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling of itchiness in area of the rash,
  • The rash first appears as pimples,
  • The rash develops into round, white coloured lumps containing a white mark in the centre of the lump,
  • Lumps are usually 1-5mm in diameter but can be as big as 1-5cm,
  • The rash is generally found on the nappy region, tummy, face, arms and legs, 
  • The rash usually does not cause scarring however in some circumstances scarring can occur.

 

 

Treatment
Molluscum contagiosum is diagnosed by a doctor just by presentation of the rash. Treatment is available however molluscum contagiosum will eventually disappear if left untreated and is generally completely gone within several months. Additionally, treatment to speed up the removal of the rash includes liquid nitrogen treatment which involves freezing of the lumps and is administered by your doctor.

 

Precautions which can be taken at home include:

  • Showering instead of bathing,
  • Avoid sharing baths with other children,
  • Wash and dry bath toys after every use,
  • Avoid sharing clothes, towels or face washers, 
  • Maintain good hygiene, ensuring to wash hands after touching the areas of skin where the rash is present.

 

 

Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Molluscum_contagiosum

http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/molluscum_contagiosum.html#

http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Molluscum/