West Houston Dermatology

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Pediatric Dermatology: Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a fairly common skin disease caused by a virus affecting the outer layer of the skin in healthy people.  This is a common skin condition for children between the ages of 1-10, but can affect adults as well.  The condition presents itself as white, pink or flesh-colored raised bumps/growths that are small in size ranging from the size of a pencil eraser to a pinhead.  Usually the bumps are not painful to the patient.  Children acquire molluscum contagiosum by touching affected skin or a surface that has the virus present such as toys, clothing, or linens.  Parents should be aware that the virus can spread if children scratch the bumps and then touch other parts of their bodies.  The best ways to avoid contamination in the household include frequent hand washing and preventing the child from scratching and touching other surfaces.  If your child is diagnosed with molluscum, you do not have to keep him/her home from school or daycare, but it is important to cover affected areas of the skin with clothing or with a watertight bandage to avoid spreading.  Diagnosing this skin condition requires a physician, and preferably a board certified dermatologist.  There are many treatment options such as topical creams and oral medications.  If you suspect your child may have molluscum contagiosum, contact West Houston Dermatology today.