Molluscum contagiosum (a rash of bumps on the skin that can become inflamed and spread quickly) can be an uncomfortable, unattractive viral infection to contract. It is usually harmless, but there are no medications that can cure this illness, and it is highly contagious. The good news is that you can stop the spread of the illness. At the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, led by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Aradhna Saxena, we can provide you or your child with a private skin consultation to see if what you have is, in fact, molluscum. We can offer you guidance on how to treat the symptoms, remove the lesions, and limit the spread of the infection. Patients young and old can contract this unfortunate viral infection. It will take some time to heal, but rest assured that it won't remain within your system forever. Let us examine your skin so that we can give you helpful recommendations on the best way to care for your infection.
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The skin condition called molluscum is a viral infection that can be spread easily with skin-to-skin contact or from coming into contact with objects that have been exposed to the virus (shared toys, sports equipment, articles of clothing, etc.). Adults and children of all ages are at risk of contracting the condition. Itching, rubbing, scrubbing, and/or shaving the area can cause this viral infection to spread or the bumps to multiply on the surrounding skin. Molluscum can also be transmitted between sexual partners and can appear on the genitals, on the inside of the upper thighs, and on the stomach of the infected individuals.
An itchy, red rash is the primary symptom of molluscum contagiosum. The bumps will appear primarily on the face, neck, arms (especially in the crevices of the armpits), and on the top of the hands. Symptoms of the condition include:
- Round bumps on the skin that may be red (inflamed), or flesh toned with a small dot in the center
- Bumps are very small in size
- An irritating, itchy rash on the skin
- Infected pustules that can be filled with a white discharge
It is best to talk to a professional before attempting home remedies or over-the-counter medications that treat only the visible symptoms. You could actually make the infection worse. At the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, we can treat your molluscum infection with three basic methods:
- Scraping (curettage): This involves removing the bumps off of the skin. This will not cure the infection or prevent the spread of the virus. Scraping can be painful (especially for young children).
- Freezing (cryotherapy): Using liquid nitrogen, we can freeze off each bump of infected skin. This may take several appointments with repeat applications to reach the desired result.
- Cautery: We can use heat therapy to remove the visible part of each bump, which will also require several treatments for successful removal. This does not prevent new bumps from forming.
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At the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, we want to help you clear up your viral skin infection with personalized treatment. Molluscum may go away on its own once the virus runs its course, but it is very contagious, can be painful, can become widespread on the body, or potentially scar your skin. Contact us today for a personal consultation at our Fort Washington, Lansdale, or Willow Grove, PA location, and we will do our best to minimize the impact of this infection.