I Think I Might Have Molluscum Contagiosum

Published: October 30, 2013
Dear I Think I Might Have Molluscum Contagiosum,

I think i might have molluscum contagiosum. Except, I have had it for a very long time and also, it doesnt seem to be spread because before i knew about i would touch it and then touch other things including my body and it has not spread. I was wondering if i had something else, or suggestions, thanks. it is also impossible that this has been transmitted sexually.


Dear I Think I Might Have Molluscum Contagiosum,

According to the Mayo Clinic website, molluscum contagiosum is most common in children and is a relatively common viral infection of the skin that results in round, firm, painless bumps ranging in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser. If the bumps are scratched or injured, the infection can spread to the surrounding skin. Molluscum contagiosum spreads through direct person-to-person contact and through contact with contaminated objects. The bumps associated with molluscum contagiosum usually disappear within a year without treatment but doctor-assisted removal is also an option.

Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum include raised, round, flesh-colored bumps on the skin. The bumps:

  • Are small — typically under about a quarter inch (approximately 2 to 5 millimeters) in diameter
  • Characteristically have a small indentation or dot at the top
  • Can become red and inflamed
  • Can be easily removed by scratching or rubbing, which can spread the virus to adjacent skin

In children, the bumps typically appear on the face, neck, armpits, hands and arms. In adults, molluscum contagiosum may be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is usually seen on the genitals, lower abdomen, inner upper thighs and buttocks.

 

TeenHealthFX recommends that you meet with your primary care physician, an adolescent medicine specialist or a dermatologist so that you can find out if you are dealing with molluscum contagiosum or some other skin issue, and so that you can get the proper treatment recommendations based on what the doctor’s diagnosis is. For molluscum contagiosum doctors might recommend anything from applying tea tree oil several times a day to the bumps, to prescription or over-the-counter creams, to minor surgical procedures that will remove the bumps.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network dermatologists.

 For more information, read on molluscum contagiosum through the Mayo Clinic. You can also get the following information on it from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • How do people become infected with the molluscum virus?
  • How can I avoid becoming infected with molluscum?
  • What is the correct way to wash my hands?
  • I have molluscum. How can I avoid spreading it to others?
  • How is molluscum treated?
  • and more...

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