Childr Health Information

Molluscum Contagiosum

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about molluscum contagiosum.

Molluscum contagiosum are harmless growths on the skin, which are caused by a virus. The lesions are common, especially in young children. They are most often spread by skin-to-skin contact with another person who has the virus.

Molluscum contagiosum are not dangerous and often disappear on their own within several months. Lesions can, however, spread to other areas of the skin and can also become infected if scratched. They can be passed on to other people who come in contact with the patient’s skin.

Several methods for treating molluscum exist. The most common methods include:
1. Topical medications:
Your child’s doctor may prescribe a cream to apply to the molluscum. This should be applied to the individual lesions as directed until they become red or develop a scab. Be careful to apply the medicine only to the lesions. It can be irritating if applied to normal skin.
2. Curretting (scraping) the lesions:
Curetting involves scraping individual lesions off the skin with a sterile scraping tool. Your child’s doctor may prescribe a numbing cream, which should be placed on the lesions 30-60 minutes before your child’s appointment. Place a generous amount of cream on each lesion (do not rub it in). Cover the area with the clear dressing, which comes with the medicine. Round Band-Aids® (those with adhesive around all edges) may be used as a substitute for the dressings. Side effects of curretting include:
• Mild Pain – may be lessened by giving Tylenol® before or after the procedure
• Infection - after treatment keep lesions clean and covered with antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid® until healed
• Dark or light spots, usually temporary
• Scarring
• Recurrence of the lesions
3. Freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen:
Liquid nitrogen is a medication that is very cold and freezes the wart. It works by destroying the outer layer of the skin where the wart virus lives. Repeated treatments, approximately every three to four weeks, are usually needed. The side effects of freezing are similar to curettement (see above). In addition, blisters can also occur after freezing. Avoid breaking any blisters if possible. If the blister breaks, keep the area covered with antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid® until the skin has healed. Call your doctor if you see redness, swelling or drainage from the lesion.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about molluscum contagiosum, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

PDF: Child Health Information - MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1993, 2000, 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1993, 2000, 2004


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