DESCRIPTIONMolluscum contagiosum is a contagious virus infection of the skin anywhere on the body. The virus usually occurs on the face in children. In older adolescents and adults, it usually occurs on the inner thighs, abdomen, and genitals.
Appropriate health care includes:
Doctor's treatment to remove the papules with liquid nitrogen or currette.
Self-care after removal.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSBumps are firm, smooth, domed, and skin-colored or white. The overlying skin is transparent and thin.
Bumps are usually 2mm to 3mm in diameter. A few may be as large as 10mm.
Bumps cause eye irritation if they are on the child's eyelids.
Bumps don't hurt or itch.
Papules (small, raised bumps on the child's skin) with the following characteristics:
DNA virus of the pox group. This virus may be transmitted sexually. The incubation is 2 weeks to 6 months.
RISK FACTORSThe child's previous allergies or a family history of allergy.
Use of immunosuppressive drugs.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCETo prevent spread to other parts of the body or to other people, urge your child not to scratch bumps.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSScarring or disfigurement.
If untreated, a few of your child's papules may increase to 20 to 50 lesions in several weeks. They will disappear spontaneously in 10 to 24 months. However, they should be treated to prevent their spread to others.
After treatment with liquid nitrogen, leave the child's blisters alone. The tops will come off spontaneously in 7 to 14 days.
Keep the child's blisters dry. Cover with small adhesive bandages any that may be irritated by clothing.
MEDICATIONMedicine usually is not necessary for this disorder. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe cantharidin (Cantherone) to apply topically to kill the virus.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
No restrictions, except to avoid sexual relations until bumps disappear.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of molluscum contagiosum.
The following occurs after treatment:
-- Signs of infection (swelling, redness, pain, tenderness, or warmth) at the treatment site.