Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus. The virus, called by the same name, produces benign lesions on the upper layer of your skin.
These bumps are typically painless. The length of time the virus lasts varies for each person and can be dependent on the type of treatment they choose.
As a parent, you may be wondering, “How did my child get this virus?” In this blog post, we will tell you how the virus is spread and how you can get rid of it.
How Molluscum is Spread
Molluscum is spread by direct contact with the lesions of an infected person. It can survive on surfaces touched by an infected person, such as a towel or a piece of clothing. Children can get the virus during normal play with other children who might have the virus. An infected person can spread the virus and create more lesions if they scratch open the lesion, exposing the white waxy center. This is called auto inoculation. If you have the virus and shave over the lesions, they can break open and spread to other parts of the body as well.
Adults are more likely to become infected through sexual contact. It is also possible to become infected during contact sports that involve touching bare skin, such as wrestling or football, or gym equipment. This is because the virus can be left on the equipment and passed to the next person.
If you or your child comes into contact with the virus, you may not see symptoms of infection for several weeks. The average incubation period is between two and seven weeks. This is from the time of exposure to the virus (for example, when your child touches the lesions of another child) to the onset of symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Molluscum
There are many different ways to get rid of molluscum, including medications or surgical treatments. Some of these are painful, others are not.
- Cryotherapy is one of the more painful ways to get rid of the lesions. This process consists of destroying the lesions by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. The skin is numbed with an anesthetic and then the liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion and immediate surrounding tissue. Following this treatment, the area may leave redness, scarring or lighter/darker skin in the treated area. For some, additional cryotherapy treatments may be needed.
- Cantharidin or what is often referred to as “beetle juice”, is a blistering agent that is derived from the blister beetle. This treatment consists of applying the liquid solution directly onto the skin lesions. It is typically left in place for a few hours before being washed off. A day or two after the application, blisters occur on the areas that were treated with the medication causing the molluscum to be “lifted” off the skin. Redness or pinkness may remain after treatment and the area where the blisters are can be painful. This treatment is done in a doctor’s office and several visits may be required to resolve all of the lesions.
- Curettage is a form of treatment done in the doctor’s office in which a curette is used to remove the lesion. A curette is a rounded surgical instrument placed over the molluscum bump and then pressure is applied allowing for extraction of the lesions. While the lesion is being extracted, the pressure from the curette can be After curettage, there is typically a small area of bleeding and a bandage is placed on the area.
- Home remedies are often preferred by parents and people looking for an alternative to the invasive treatments above. There are many kinds of home remedies people have tried such as apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and elderberry extract. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of data and research to support these remedies, although some claim to cure the disease.
- Without relying on chemical ingredients, MolluscumRx is a highly effective supplement for molluscum contagiosum lesions, comprised of organic plant extracts. This is a pain-free treatment.