Do you have a toddler aged child that has bumps on their skin? Have you ever wondered where these bumps come from or how to get rid of them? If you have asked these questions or if you do have a young child you should read on and learn about Molluscum Contangiosum.
Molluscum Contagiosum (MC) is a viral rash that is in the wart family. This rash is most commonly found on the trunk of children. Molluscum usually appears as small (less than a half a centimeter) domed, white or pink, papules, some parents confuse it with an acne bump. These bumps are most commonly found on the trunk or arms of children under the age of six; however they can occur at any age. Molluscum contagiosum are highly contagious and spread by skin to skin contact.
Summer is the most prevalent time of MC, secondary to children spending a lot of time at swimming pools. Although it can be spread at any time of year, during summer children are wearing less clothing and are usually spending time swimming. The virus can be spread by skin contact, sharing towels, or washcloths. If you have multiple children bath time should be taken separately to decrease the chances of transmission.
Molluscum contagiosum is a virus therefore our immune system should fight it off and alleviate the rash; however this is not always the case. There are three treatment options for MC. The first option is to do nothing, if you choose to not treat your child’s MC the rash will eventually fade, this could take anywhere from a few months to two to five years. Verasol (bug juice) is another treatment option, this option is a topical liquid applied in your doctor’s office. Verasol is a blistering agent, that when applied to the skin it will blister and in a few days the blister will peel off and remove the bump. Verasol is a great option when there are only a few lesions to treat or when other treatment options have failed. This process should not be painful and the blistering should only last for two to three days, however the blistering can leave white marks behind on the skin. The third treatment option is a prescription cream called Aldara, this cream was first approved for the treatment of genital warts, and even though MC is not genital warts many dermatologists use this medication off label for its treatment. This cream is applied to the affected area three times a week for four to six weeks. The area will become red and irritated and the bumps will then peel off. Aldara is not painful to use and is used at home instead of going into the doctor’s office. The cream works by making the immune system build a response to the virus and it usually does not leave any scarring behind.
If you believe your child has molluscum contangiosum and would like them evaluated call Dr. John Kayal who specializes in skin care for all ages.