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What Is Molluscum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection of the skin that causes round, firm, painless bumps to appear. This condition is spread by direct contact with someone who has it or by touching an object that has been infected with the virus. Symptoms can take up to six months to appear.

Common signs of molluscum include bumps that may have the following characteristics:

  • Raised, round, and flesh-colored.
  • Small in size.
  • Have a small indent or dot at the top near the center.
  • Can become inflamed and red.
  • May be itchy.
  • Commonly appear on the face, neck, armpits, arms, and tops of the hands.
  • Can be removed by scratching or rubbing, which can spread the virus.

Anyone can get molluscum contagiosum, though some are more likely than others. These include children under the age of 10, people living in tropical climates, those with weakened immune systems, those with atopic dermatitis, or people who participate in contact sports where bare skin-to-skin contact is common.

Once you have had molluscum contagiosum, you are not protected against being infected again. That is why it is important to take the proper preventative steps, including washing your hands, avoid touching molluscum bumps, do not share personal items with others, avoid sexual contact with those with molluscum contagious, and cover the bumps with clothing when you are around others.

Molluscum Contagiosum FAQs

Are baths bad for molluscum?

Bathwater can spread the molluscum virus to parts of the body that were previously unaffected.

Can molluscum turn into staph?

Molluscum can lead to a secondary staph infection if left untreated. This is not common.

Can molluscum contagiosum be cured?

Molluscum is considered cured when bumps no longer occur, which is possible with treatment from a dermatologist. In some cases, however, molluscum will resolve itself without treatment within about six months.

Can a child get molluscum twice?

It is possible for children, or patients of any age, to get molluscum more than once.

Can healthy adults get molluscum?

Molluscum contagiosum is most common in children but can affect adults.

Treatment Options for Molluscum

While molluscum usually gets better without treatment over 6-12 months, it can continue developing bumps for up to five years. If you have a weakened immune system, it may be necessary to treat molluscum contagiosum. Once all of the bumps are gone, you are no longer contagious. Popular treatment options include removing the bumps through the following techniques:

  • Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen will be used to freeze away the bumps.
  • Curettage: The bumps will be scraped away using a special tool.
  • Cantharidin: This medication causes blisters, which lift off the bumps.

Because these techniques involve treating each individual bump, a procedure may require more than one session. Those with many large bumps may need additional treatment until the bumps disappear.

Ideal Candidates for Molluscum Treatment

Individuals who have the symptoms of molluscum contagiosum or have lesions that are large, have an existing skin disease, have a weakened immune system, or have serious concerns about spreading the virus can benefit from treatment. In order to determine the best course of action, Dr. Erwin will need to assess your skin during an in-office appointment.

Contact Us Today

If you believe you may have molluscum or have been diagnosed with molluscum, contact our office to learn more about your treatment options. We can be reached by calling 979-543-9933. We will be happy to assist you in scheduling your initial appointment with Dr. Erwin, during which she will be able to properly diagnose and treat your skin.