- Small raised growths that have a smooth, waxy surface
- The medical name is molluscum contagiosum
- Viral infection of the skin
- A doctor has told you your child has molluscum or
- Your child has had close contact with another person who has it
Symptoms of Molluscum
- Small bumps with a waxy or pearl-colored, smooth surface
- May have a dimple (indent) in center
- Bumps are firm with a core of white material.
- Are many different sizes, from pinhead to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) across
- Can occur anywhere on the body, but usually stay in just one area
- Are sometimes itchy, but not painful
- Usually age 2 to 12 years
- Most infected children get 5 to 10 of them
Cause of Molluscum
- They are caused by a poxvirus. This is a different virus than the one that causes warts.
- Friction or picking at them causes them to increase in number.
To Treat or Not to Treat?
- Some doctors advise not treating them if there are only a few. Reason: They are harmless and painless.
- They have a natural tendency to heal and go away on their own.
When Special Treatment is Considered
- Your child picks at them
- They are in areas of friction (for example, the armpit)
- They are spreading quickly or
- You feel they are a cosmetic problem
Prevent Spread to Others
- Avoid baths or hot tubs with other children. Reason: can spread in warm water.
- Also, avoid sharing washcloths or towels.
- Contact sports: can spread to other team members. They should be covered or treated.
- Time it takes to get them: 4 to 8 weeks after close contact.