Each Monday I'll post answers to questions I acquired. If you have a question please feel free to send me an email or leave me a comment. I welcome every comment and hope to help answer some questions. Just remember that my advice is not a substitute for a physical exam and medical advice that your family doctor can provide.
Today we're talking about Molluscum Contagiosum.
I received this question from a fellow reader:
My daughter was just diagnosed with Molluscum. Daycare is freaking out because they don’t know what it is (I’ve never heard of it either). They are asking me to get a note from the pediatrician on what it is so that they can explain it to the other parents... is it only spreadable when the warts are “an open wound” or is it spreadable all the time?
Molluscum Contagiosum Virus (MCV) is one of those annoying little skin infections that kids get. eMedicine has a great very indepth article that outlines the varies aspects of MCV infection. Here a brief exerpt.
MCV causes characteristic skin lesions consisting of single or, more often, multiple, rounded, dome-shaped, pink, waxy papules 2-5 mm (rarely up to 1 cm) in diameter. The papules are umbilicated and contain a caseous plug. MCV is an unclassified member of the Poxviridae family
MC is most common in children who become infected through direct skin-to-skin contact or indirect skin contact with fomites, such as bath towels, sponges, and gymnasium equipment. Lesions typically occur on the chest, arms, trunk, legs, and face. Hundreds of lesions may develop in intertriginous areas, such as the axillae and intercrural region. Lesions may rarely occur on the mucous membranes of the lip, tongue, and buccal mucosa. The palms are spared. Patients with eczema may develop large numbers of lesions.
MCV may be inoculated along a line of minor skin trauma, resulting in lesions arranged in a linear pattern- a process that is termed autoinoculation.
Treatment is generally avoided as most healthy children will resolve their lesions in 6-9 months. Some cases may last for years. If the lesions are spreading particularly fast or are becoming infected you may want to talk with your physician regarding special therapy. For most children freezing or burning off the lesions cause more harm and pain than do the original lesions. But this an options that many parents elect.
For a few individuals the Molluscum lesions may indicate that a person is immunodeficient or immunocompromised. Take your child to the doctor if your child has a particularly bad case of Molluscum and doesn't seem to be healing from them.
Other that that there's nothing much you can do. Except ignore it- which is what I do. That's my little boy in the picture! Oh and I send these kids back to daycare. It's unrealistic to keep them out.