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1/30/23 blog post

what's this red bump that won't go away?


Molluscum Contagiosum








Have you noticed a small red bump on your child's face or body? They could have molluscum contagiosum. 

what is molluscum contagiosum?

These are small bumps 1-5 mm in size and are caused by a virus in the poxvirus family. They occur mostly in children aged 1-10 years,  though people of any age can get molluscum. They can show up anywhere on the body and are firm and flesh/white/pink color. Molluscum bumps may come alone or in groups and have the signature umbilicated (dimpled) appearance.

As the name suggests, molluscum contagiosum is contagious. They can spread by person-to-person contact or through objects such as toys and towels. The virus lives in the skin so it does not spread through saliva or sneezing. Children with atopic dermatitis (eczema) or whose immune systems are suppressed are at increased risk for more severe cases. Because lesions persist for so long, the best way to prevent spread is good hand washing. Keeping lesions on the hands covered may also help prevent the spread to others.

Treatment for molluscum is typically watchful waiting. Lesions will go away on their own and typically resolve within 6-12 months, but they can persist for up to four years!  For more severe cases, doctors can treat the lesions with cryotherapy, laser therapy or curettage.

Topical treatments such as Cantharidin, salicylic acid, tretinoin and imiquimod can also be used. The goal of these topical treatments is to irritate the skin around the molluscum as a way to “alert” the body to the virus and start attacking it. Unfortunately, molluscum being a poxvirus, it can scar with or without treatment but luckily they typically do not!

quick care for minor conditions

If you think your child needs to be seen for a minor condition and you can't get into your child's doctor, bring them to Kids Express. Kids Express is the only pediatric-focused retail clinic in the region. Save your spot online before you come and wait from home! 

learn more and save your spot

when to be concerned about RSV

This time of year brings cold, flu and oftentimes, RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. Learn more about the virus and how to protect your child.

learn more