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What is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum Contagiosum (MC) is common viral infection that causes a wart-like rash. MC is caused by the poxvirus, and can be easily transmitted via skin contact. The small, raised bumps the virus causes are known as mollusca, which are approximately 2-5mm in size. MC is completely harmless, and any unsightly mollusca will disappear over time.
Mollusca in children:
MC tends to be more common in children because it is easily transmitted via skin contact and children aren’t as likely to wash their hands. For example, if a child with MC scratches the affected area and then holds hands with another child in the playground, both children would likely become infected. MC can also be transmitted by sharing clothing, furniture or towels. Mollusca usually appear on the stomach, neck, arms and face.
MC is a harmless virus, so infected children can still participate in activities and go to school as usual. If your child contracts MC, it’s best to try and minimise the risk of passing on the virus and treating the symptoms with a mild agent rather than taking any drastic measures.
Mollusca in adults:
When adults contract MC, it is usually through close skin contact or sexual contact. It is not a sexually transmitted disease and there is no need to worry. In adults, mollusca are usually seen around the lower abdomen, genitalia and groin.
Diagnosing Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum Contagiosum can be easily diagnosed by any doctor. Mollusca are harmless and easy to recognise. They resemble warts, and often have a pitted centre. They also tend to have a red colour and are often elevated from the skin. They can also grow larger and even change shape over time.
Treating and removing mollusca
The MC virus is harmless, and mollusca will naturally disappear over time. It is not necessary to treat mollusca, however it can take years for the unsightly rash and mollusca to clear up.
Luckily, there are ways to treat and remove mollusca without waiting for nature to take its course. The most common method of removal is by medically burning or freezing the mollusca away, however this poses the risk of causing skin damage and scarring. There are more gentle and natural ways to treat mollusca, which can be used safely at home with effects in just weeks. The most affordable and popular of these is the FDA-approved mollusca treatment Zymaderm.
- If you have mollusca, always wash your hands regularly.
- Try not to scratch mollusca rashes, and keep your nails short.
- Don’t share towels.