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Bumps called molluscum growing on a child’s abdomen

Molluscum

See a Board Certified Dermatologist today!

See a Board Certified Dermatologist today!

Dr. Ryan Harris, MD is a board certified dermatologist located in Meridian, Idaho who has over a decade of experience in treating molluscum and other skin infections. His five children have given him plenty of practice treating molluscum and he understands the difficulty of choosing treatments that are both effective and tolerable by the patient. If your child has molluscum or any other skin problems, contact our office to schedule an appointment today.

What are mollscum?

Molluscum or molluscum contagiosum is a very common viral skin infection found in children. Adults rarely develop molluscum as they were usually infected as a child and already  have immunity. They appear as a collection on small, pink bumps and can be located anywhere on the body. They contain a small, hard core in the center which actually contains the virus. 

What causes molluscum?

Molluscum is a viral infection and is part of the poxvirus family. They spread by skin-to-skin contact or through indirect contact in swimming pools. They can also be spread by scratching or by trying to squeeze or pop the bumps. 

Is molluscum dangerous?

Molluscum is not dangerous and causes no particular threat to your health. Since molluscum is not dangerous, treatment is not required, although therapy is certainly justified to speed up clearance and reduce their risk of spreading. 

How are molluscum treated?

Treatment for molluscum typically involves methods that destroy the bumps or cause an inflammatory reactions within the infected areas. Common treatments include freezing the spots with liquid nitrogen or applying a medicine called cantharadin that causes a small blister to form and helps the body rid itself of the viral-containing core. Older patients may tolerate using a sharp curette to remove the central core. Topical medications can be used that help increase the body's immune response to the virus, but they are less effective than the other methods. 

Will molluscum go away on their own? 

The good news is that molluscum will eventually disappear on their own. Most resolve within 6 months and nearly 100% disappear within 2 years. The decision to treat is highly dependent on the age of the child, their tolerance to treatments, the amount of spots present, and their location. On a personal level, I have five children and all five have had molluscum. I have treated each child differently based on the factors I described above. For my older, more tolerant children, I was more aggressive. For my younger child who has severe sensory issues, I intervened as little as possible and largely let his own body take care of them. All five of them eventually got rid of their molluscum and have no physical or lasting emotional scars.

See a Board Certified Dermatologist today!

Portrait of Ryan Harris, MD

Dr. Ryan Harris, MD is a board certified dermatologist located in Meridian, Idaho who has over a decade of experience in treating molluscum and other skin infections. His five children have given him plenty of practice treating molluscum and he understands the difficulty of choosing treatments that are both effective and tolerable by the patient. If your child has molluscum or any other skin problems, contact our office to schedule an appointment today.