Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment in South Florida

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What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin that causes small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps may be clear, and the center is often indented. The virus is not harmful. Molluscum contagiosum is fairly common, and if the bumps are injured, the infection can typically spread to surrounding skin.

This infection can also spread from person to person from infected objects such as phones, TV remotes, and other common items. While this skin infection is most common in children, it can also affect teenagers and adults. Those with weakened immune systems are also prone to being infected.

What are the symptoms?

The small, round, indented bumps are usually about 3 mm to 5 mm in size (a little smaller than a pencil eraser). The bumps are painless. They may appear alone or in groups. They are most often found on the trunk, face, eyelids or genital area. In children, bumps usually appear on the trunk, face, and arms.

In sexually active teenagers and young adults, the bumps are usually located in the genital area, and can also spread to the lower abdomen and inner thighs if not treated. The bumps may become inflamed and turn red as part of the body's natural immune system response as it fights the virus. 

The incubation period (the time from exposure to the virus until the bumps appear) is usually 2 to 7 weeks but can be up to 6 months.In people who have an impaired immune system, such as HIV infection, symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are more severe.

How Does Molluscum contagiosum spread?

The virus commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact. This includes sexual contact, touching, scratching the bumps, and then touching the skin. Handling objects that have the virus on them, such as a towel, can also result in infection.

The virus can spread from one part of the body to another or to other people. The virus can be spread among children at daycare or at school. Molluscum contagiosum is contagious until the bumps are gone, which if left untreated, may be up to 6 months or longer.

Can I Prevent Molluscum Contagiosum From Spreading?

Children who have molluscum can still go to school, sports, social events, and family gatherings. Since this skin infection is contagious, it is crucial to know how to prevent it from spreading. Washing hands with soap and water is a great way to prevent the spread as it will get rid of any open bumps that are filled with fluid. 

The best way to prevent the spread of molluscum is to not share anything at all with anyone. It is especially important not to share any utensils, dinnerware, clothing, towels, gym equipment etc, as objects can help spread the infection. Wrapping up any large areas of infected skin with bandages can also help reduce the spread. It is also important to prevent touching, scratching, or rubbing the bumps as this can irritate them and cause them to spread even more.

How Is It Treated?

Some people choose to remove the bumps because they are embarrassed by them, or to keep them from spreading to other people. The bumps can also go away on their own, but new bumps can also form in that time as well. Health professionals usually recommend treating bumps located in the genital area to prevent them from spreading.

If needed, treatment choices include:

  • Removing the viral material in the center by scraping the center briskly (curettage)
  • Freezing the skin growth (cryotherapy)
  • Putting medication on the skin (topical medication)
  • Taking medication by mouth (oral medication)

Give Us a Call Today!

At Hollywood Dermatology, home to many experienced and passionate doctors, medical staff, and practice administrators, we are committed to providing the best healthcare and service possible. With a whole array of services available from skin services, surgical and cosmetic procedures, and other treatments, we are ready to help you reach your beauty and wellness goals.

If you believe you may have molluscum contagiosum, or if you are looking for a dermatology practice that specializes in molluscum contagiosum treatment, please call us today at 954.961.1200 to schedule a consultation at Hollywood Dermatology. You can also visit our contact page for information about any of our five South Florida locations.

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