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, but the good news is that you can stop the spread of the illness. Our Las Vegas, NV board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Reuel Aspacio, at Summerlin Dermatology 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 it won't remain within your system forever.
Appearing on the skin as a flesh-colored or pink bump with a central indentation, molluscum contagiosum may be mistaken for an ingrown hair or folliculitis. It commonly affects children and may spread to any part of the body by scratching or picking. In adults, it is often transmitted by sexual contact. If your immune system is compromised, molluscum contagiosum may be more severe, larger, and sometimes appear on the face. Let us examine your skin so that we can give helpful recommendations on the best way to care for your infection.
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The skin condition 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
- The bumps are very small in size
- The rash causes an irritating, itchy rash on the skin
- The infected pustules 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 Summerlin Dermatology, 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, Dr. Aspacio can freeze off each bump of infected skin. This may take several appointments with repeat applications to achieve 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 of the bumps. This does not prevent new bumps from forming.
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At Summerlin Dermatology, we want to help you seek relief for your viral skin infection with personalized treatment. Molluscum may go away on its own once the virus runs its course, but it can be painful, become widespread on the body, or scar your skin. Call us today for a personal consultation and we will do our best to minimize the impact of this infection.