Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious skin infection that causes small white, pink, or flesh-colored bumps on the skin with dimples in the middle of them. The bumps may be red, itchy, and sore, but they usually cause no discomfort at all.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus, just like warts. Depending on the type of wart, they may even be similar in appearance. Both can occur anywhere on the body, either singly or in groups, but are most common on the face, trunk, and extremities. Children who suffer from eczema are at an increased risk of a more widespread infection if they contract molluscum.
Molluscum contagiosum doesn’t usually require treatment, but if necessary, can be treated by freezing, scraping, or using topical cream, if doctor recommended. Keep in mind that these treatments can cause scarring, so consider taking your child to a skin specialist before you begin any form of treatment.
Typically, molluscum contagiosum goes away within six to 12 months but can take as long as four years. While it is possible to get reinfected, the virus does not remain in the body waiting to resurface. If you suspect your child has molluscum contagiosum, consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
To prevent spreading, it is important to avoid scratching the bumps. It can be spread by touch or by sharing towels or other contaminated objects. Proper hand washing goes a long way toward prevention. As a parent with a child that has molluscum contagiosum, you will not only need to be careful about washing your own hands, but also teaching your child thorough hand washing.
If your child is going to be somewhere where the virus could be exposed, consider covering any exposed bumps with a waterproof bandage to prevent them from being touched. At night, when there is little chance of touching anyone else, the bumps should be uncovered so the skin can breathe.