Tips on managing molluscum

Molluscum-contagiosum-neck-bumps-AAD SSDPMolluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by a virus. It is not harmful, but it can spread to others and oneself and the bumps can become infected. Since the pink, white and flesh-colored bumps associated with molluscum may resemble other ailments such as warts, chickenpox, even skin cancer, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of the condition. An SSDP Board certified dermatologist can make the diagnosis by looking at the skin or scraping off a bit of the affected skin and examining it under a microscope.

The best way to avoid getting molluscum is by following good personal hygiene habits, including frequent hand washing.  If you or someone you know has molluscum, do not touch, scratch or pick at the rash, bumps or blisters to prevent spreading the virus.

Many parents ask if their child can go to day care or school with molluscum. The answer is, yes, but some precautions should be taken.  Be sure to cover the bumps with clothing or a watertight bandage to avoid spreading the virus to others.

Unlike other viruses, which may remain dormant in the body for long periods of time before reappearing, the molluscum virus disappears once the growths are gone. Molluscum can be cured, but it is not a lifelong immunity. If you are exposed to the virus again, you can get it again.

Image from the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

 

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