Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin infection that produces flesh colored bumps on the upper layer of skin. While this is a benign infection, it is highly contagious through contact. The virus can last for varied lengths of time, lasing from two months to upwards of four years. Parents are often surprised by Molluscum Contagiosum because of the quick outbreak of bumps on their child’s skin, and the fact that they have never even heard of this skin condition.
Rarely does Molluscum Contagiosum need medical intervention. While parents often bring their children into the dermatologist at the onset of the condition, treatment is typically not given. The virus is generally allowed to run its course, and the bumps will go away on their own eventually. However, some parents do choose to treat the Molluscum Contagiosum bumps. It is important for parents to understand that not only can treatment be painful to the child, but it can also cause scarring. Allowing the bumps to go away on their own rarely results in scarring.
The most effective treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum are performed by a dermatologist and include:
- Using liquid nitrogen to freeze each bump
- Laser therapy to destroy each bump
- Curettage to pierce each bump and scrape it off the skin
- Chemical peels containing acids that induce peeling of the top layers of skin
Most of these techniques will require the use of anesthesia, and they will need to be repeated for success. In many cases, new bumps will appear as the existing ones begin to disappear, making the need for treatment last longer and longer.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists, we care for our patients on an individualized and whole basis. Not only to we view skin issues as more than “skin deep,” we also consider the patient as a whole before recommending any type of treatment. Molluscum Contagiosum rarely requires medical intervention. We understand that this skin condition can cause concern regarding your child’s appearance, but the pain during treatment and regular scarring after treatment must be considered. Dr. Jamie Weisman leads our medical dermatology practice with expertise that you can trust. Contact us today with any of your child’s skin concerns.