You may have experienced a bumpy rash like condition but unsure what it was or if it has been diagnosed incorrectly. Molluscum contagiosum is a common and stubborn viral infection that causes a mild skin rash. It is important to get the correct diagnosis to ensure the best treatment quickly for fast results. The rash looks like one or more small growths or wart-like bumps that are usually pink, white, or skin-coloured. The bumps are usually smooth and shiny or pearly-looking, and may have an indented centre.
We treat these similar to how we treat warts; we apply topical solutions or pastes to the skin. Sometimes we can also use cryotherapy where we freeze them off.
With the topical medications you keep the medication on overnight ideally, if the patient can tolerate. Expect the skin to blister and go red, this is what we want as this means it is doing something!!!
We will also give you home treatment to use every night as much as you can tolerate. Home treatment is extremely important as we normally only see patients every 3-4weeks with Molluscum, so attacking the virus daily at home helps to stop the spread and keeps killing it!
There are four main types of how it can be spread:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact
- Indirect contact via shared towels or other items
- Auto-inoculation into another site by scratching or shaving
- Sexual transmission in adults.
Molluscum is most commonly seen in children, although we see this virus in adults as well. The most important thing is to treat this condition as early as possible! This is to avoid it spreading to the whole body. Your child may just have one or two bumps on the arm or leg, this can spread quickly so prompt treatment is needed to stop the virus as quickly as we can.
It can be a big confidence issue for some children as it is quite visible to others, so that’s why we like to treat when we just see a couple of lesions.
Once we start treatment the immune system is woken up and kicked into gear to start erasing this virus. So we don’t have to necessarily treat every single spot for all of them to disappear, as the body will start to mop up any ones we miss. The immune system is an amazing thing!! Sometimes it just needs something to kick start it and refresh it and get back to its normal self!!