In one day, small, pink bumps have suddenly appeared near your child’s eye and you have no idea what it is. It stings a bit and you think they may have contracted it from the pool. Your maternal instinct has not failed you. According to scientific studies, the chances of being infected by this is multiplied by three when sharing a towel, a sponge, or any other bathroom object. You do not have to be scared, though. Molluscum contagiosum is a very common infection in children that is not dangerous and is cured without treatment.
What is molloscum contagiousum?
Molloscum contagiosum is a viral infection that manifests with a small rash on the skin: one or more bumps between 2 and 6 mm, pink, white or skin-colored, soft to the touch and with a sunken center.
It mainly affects children between 2 and 10 years of age due to the immaturity of their immune system. It is a highly contagious infection through direct contact from person to person and with objects such as towels, toys, etc. that people with the infection have used.
Between 3 and 5% of children will be infected by molloscum contagiosum, but adolescents and adults can also contract it. For example, through sexual relations, athletes who practice contact sports such as swimming, or those who have a weaker immune system (infected with HIV or cancer treatments, for example).
When the protuberances are scratched or rubbed and then rubbed against another uninfected area, the molloscum contagiosum can spread throughout the body.
The most frequent symptoms are:
- Appearance of round spots, between 2 and 6 mm in diameter in the affected area: face, chest, belly, arms, armpits, legs, groin and genital areas.
- The protuberances have relief and are pink, white or skin-toned. They may redden, swell and itch.
How long will my child have the mollusks for?
When the pediatrician or the pediatric dermatologist confirms the infection, you will be surprised to find out that the molloscum contagiosum cures itself, without treatment.
The mollusks can disappear in about 2 or 3 months; although, you must have patience as they will leave new spots as the former disappear. Therefore, the period can extend to 18 months or more, in the most extreme months.
Occasionally, doctors decide to eliminate protuberances with various techniques. The most used are: scraping, freezing and laser therapy. Many others are against it, though, since they claim that it can generate more problems than solutions, since there is a risk of hurting the patient.
How do you prevent it?
The prevention methods serve as barriers, but they are not always effective. In any case you can put them to use:
- Wash your hands frequently and have your children do so as well.
- Do not touch objects that have been in contact with infected people. If you have to do it, always wash your hands immediately after.
- Do not share personal items such as clothes, towels, brushes, combs, etc.
- If you are infected, do not touch your wounds and cover them with bandages.
Once the infection disappears, the molloscum contagiosum does not remain in the body. However, you can contract it again if you come back in contact with the virus.
*Content validated by the mediQuo medical team.