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Molludab for children

Molluscum contagiosum in children

If you’re worried about your child having molluscum contagiosum and how to make sure they don’t pass it on to anyone else (including you!) you’ll find more information below, together with a special article by Dr Sarah Brewer covering a whole range of information about the condition. And don’t forget, you can find out more about buying MolluDab® here.

What causes molluscum contagiosum in children?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin condition in children, but it is relatively unknown by parents. The infection causes small firm bumps (mollusca) to appear on the skin. Molluscum is a relatively harmless virus, but it can be distressing, uncomfortable and embarrassing for children.

How do children catch molluscum contagiosum?

The virus is easily spread as it can survive on surfaces that have been touched by the skin of a person with molluscum contagiosum. The incubation period lasts a few weeks after which point the bumps will appear. The virus can also be spread by:

  • Direct skin contact such as touching the skin of a child who is infected.
  • Contact sports that involve touching bare skin, such as wrestling, rugby or football.
  • Touching contaminated objects such as towels, toys, flannels or clothes.

At what age can children catch molluscum?

The virus commonly affects children under 15 years of age, the majority of cases occur in pre-school children aged between 1 and 4 years old.

NHS consultation on molluscum contagiosum

What size are the molluscum bumps?

They are often between 2mm and 6mm in diameter, but they can grow larger, up to 10mm to 20mm. There are typically less than 20 molluscum bumps on the body, however, in some rare instances, people have reported over 100 bumps.

Where does molluscum appear on children?

Molluscum bumps can appear alone or in clusters and are usually distributed over the face, neck, trunk, limbs and armpits in children. Hands and feet can also be affected, but this is far less common.

How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed in children?

The bumps are easy to recognise, and your doctor will usually diagnose molluscum contagiosum in your child just by looking at it. They should be able to diagnose the condition without the need for further tests.

Treating children with molluscum contagiosum?

Molluscum will eventually go away on its own, but it can take 18 months or longer to clear. There are a few treatments which may help to speed up the process of the clearance of these spots.

  • The spots can be frozen with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) or can be scraped off with a sharp instrument (curettage). These treatments can be painful and may not be suitable for children. However, this is dependent on the age of the person affected. These treatments should always be carried out by a qualified healthcare professional.
  • There are topical therapies available that can be applied at home such as Potassium hydroxide and Salicylic acid that work by irritating the spots and causing them to become inflamed. The immune system then detects the virus and can clear the spots.

AL/3775b/05.19/0.001. Date of preparation: May 2019