Summer Fun: Molluscum?

Summer Fun: Molluscum?

Summertime is here! Time for fun, sun, swimming,

and….. SKIN RASHES??

During the warm summer months, more children present to the pediatrician’s office with complaints of various skin rashes. One very common rash seen year round that is commonly a problem during the summer is Molluscum.

What is Molluscum?: Molluscum Contagiosum (Poxvirus) is a viral skin rash commonly seen in children. This rash presents as small raised bumps that may be pink, white, or flesh colored. These bumps typically have a dimple in the center, are smooth and firm, and range in size from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pencil eraser. 

How is Molluscum spread?: Molluscum is spread by person to person contact or contact with contaminated objects such as shared towels, washcloths, swim equipment etc. Though there is no scientific evidence at this time, some believe that Molluscum may spread through contaminated water such as in pools hot tubs, saunas, though this belief may be more attributed to the sharing of equipment and towels at these locations. 

Should I be concerned if my child contracts Molluscum?: Many children will contract the virus that causes Molluscum at some point. It manifests differently in each child, but it is generally not concerning. Molluscum is typically a self limiting virus that does not require treatment and will usually resolve on its own in 6-12 months. There is no reason for your child to be out of school or daycare during this time. 

Special circumstances: Treatment for molluscum is usually recommended if lesions are in the genital area

What parents can do?

  • Wait it out: As mentioned previously, molluscum is a viral infection. Though there are certain treatments for the rash, the virus still must run its course. Until that time, more “bumps” may continue to develop. The typical healing time is around 6-12 months. 
  • Stop the spread: The virus is present and contagious as long as the bumps are present. 
    • Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!!
    • Keep lesions covered. Wear clothing that covers the lesions to prevent spread
    • Do not share! A child with molluscum should not share towels, bedding, swim equipment, clothing, etc with others. The virus may be present on these items and spread easily to the next person to use them.
  • Hands off: Avoid scratching or trying to “pop” the bumps. Scratching or squeezing the bumps can cause them to spread more.. This can also cause bacteria to enter through broken skin, thus allowing a secondary infection. 

If you are concerned about the location of your child’s molluscum or that your child’s rash may be infected, contact our office for further instructions.