What is Molluscum?
Molluscum contagiosum (a rash of bumps on the skin that can become inflamed and spread quickly) may be an uncomfortable, unattractive viral infection to contract in your skin, but the good news is that you are educating yourself about how to stop the illness. Our board-certified Austin, TX dermatologists at Snyder Dermatology can provide you or your child with a private skin consultation to see if what you have is an infection with the virus. There is no medication that can cure this illness, and it is highly contagious. We can, however, offer you guidance on how to treat the symptoms, remove the lesions, and limit the damage and spread that molluscum can do. Patients young and old can contract this unfortunate viral infection. It will take some time to go away, but it won't live in your skin forever. Let us examine your skin so that we can make helpful recommendations on the best way to care for your infection.
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What Causes Molluscum?
Molluscum is a viral infection that can be spread easily with skin-on-skin contact, or from picking it up from objects exposed to the virus (shared toys, sports equipment, articles of clothing, and more). Children and adults alike can contract this infection. Itching, rubbing, scrubbing, and/or shaving the area can cause this viral infection to spread or the bumps to multiply on the surrounding area of skin.
Molluscum can also be transmitted between sexual partners, and shows up on the genitals, on the inside of the upper thighs, and on the stomach of the infected persons.
Symptoms of Molluscum
An itchy, red rash maybe the signs and symptoms of molluscum contagiosum. Here is what to look for in this rash that can be found on the face, neck, arms (especially in the crevices of the armpits), and on the top of the hands:
- Round bumps on the skin that may be red (inflamed) or flesh tone with a small dot in the center
- Very small in size
- Causes an irritating, itchy rash on the skin
- Infected pustules can be filled with a white discharge
How to Treat Molluscum
It is best to talk with a trusted doctor before trying home remedies, or over-the-counter medications that treat only the visible symptoms. You could actually make the infection worse. At our dermatology office, we can treat your molluscum infection with three basic methods:
- Scraping (curettage): This involves removing the bump off of the skin, but will not cure the infection or prevent the spread of the virus. Scraping can be painful (especially for young children). We will administer a local topical anesthetic to properly numb the area before the procedure takes place.
- Freezing (cryotherapy): Using liquid nitrogen, our dermatologist can freeze off each bump of the infection on the skin. This may take several appointments with repeat applications to get the desired result.
- Cautery: We can use heat therapy to remove the visible part of each bump on the skin, which will also require several treatments for successful removal of the bumps. This does not prevent new bumps from forming.
- Cantharidin: This is a blistering agent that when applied topically to molluscum, results in its destruction. It is commonly used in children due to the lack of pain upon application.
- Candida antigen therapy: This is also known as intralesional immunotherapy with Candida antigen. When this is injected into several lesions for a total of three sessions, a skin immune response is induced that results in improvement or clearance of the lesions. This treatment is particularly helpful when there are several lesions in the genital or facial regions.
Plan Your Procedure
- 15 minutes
Schedule a Consult Today!
At Snyder Dermatology, we want to help you treat your viral skin infection with personalized treatment. Molluscum may go away on its own once the virus runs its course in the skin, but it can be painful, become widespread on the body, and can potentially scar your skin. Call today for a personal consultation, and we will do our best to minimize the impact of this infection.