What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection that affects an individual's skin. It is most commonly observed in children, although it can occur at any age. MC is usually a harmless skin rash that will get better within a few months without any specialized treatment. However, it is all too common for the condition to spread around the body take up to 18 months or more for the condition to clear up completely.
What Does Molluscum Contagiosum Look Like?
If you have noticed an odd rash on your child, then chances are it could be MC. In most instances, the only symptom of MC is small, raised spots on the skin that have a small dimple in the middle. The spots are not painful but are usually rather itchy. These spots can appear in small clusters and can be spread all around different parts of the body. The most common places for these spots to appear is around the armpit, behind the knees, or on the groin. It is possible for MC to affect an individual on more than one occasion, but this is very uncommon.
The spots will generally be red or pink, although they may have a tiny yellow or white head in the middle. If this head splits, then a thick substance will be released, which is extremely infectious. It is vital to never attempt to pop the spots as this will more than likely lead the infection to spread to other parts of the body. Most children will have only around 20 to 30 spots on their body, although if they have a weakened immune system it is likely that they will have more.
In the majority of cases, individual spots will begin to crust over and heal within two months of appearing. Some individuals may experience mild swelling and redness in the affected areas as they begin the healing process.
Treating Molluscum Contagiosum
In most instances treatments for MC are not necessary. This is because the infection will usually clear up by itself without any other symptoms apart from the spots. The infection doesn't normally interfere with an individual's everyday life either, and some treatment methods can be painful and cause scarring. If treatment is required, then a dermatologist will likely prescribe liquids, creams, or gels that can be applied directly to the affected area. In some instances, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco will recommend minor procedures such as cryotherapy, a simple procedure whereby the spots will be removed by being frozen.