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Skin Disorders:
Highlighting Mollescum Contagiosum

Many times doctors do not know exactly what causes many times of skin growths. What is known is that viruses cause some skin growths, the body reacting to excesses in the system causes some, and the environment causes some.

ollescum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum is a very common skin disorder that is caused by a pox virus. It is also many times referred to as the water wart. Many times this skin aliment is confused with skin warts. They are small flesh colored or pink colored and are shaped like a dome. The center of these growths appears to be indented. They appear to be shiny, and many times can become red and inflamed.

Who can get them?

Children often get Molluscum Contagiosum more than adults. The aliments seems to target children five years of age and younger. Younger children who have not built up a resistance to the virus, seems to be more susceptible to it. Adults who attract the aliment usually get it through sexual contact. Molluscum Contagiosum is very common in tropical climates that allow the virus to breathe and grow due to its warmth and humidity. Race does not play a factor in this aliment and both sexes are equal chance of catching the skin aliment.

What can cause them?

Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a virus that enters the skin through small breaks of hair follicles.

How does it happen?

Molluscum Contagiosum virus since it is found on the skin can be transmitted to another person by skin contact or through the sharing of clothing. You can also get it by sharing towels with an infected person, or by swimming in the same pool. Molluscum’s is very contagious, so individuals who have the virus should remain away from other children, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Where do they appear?

Molluscum Contagiosum appear in areas of the skin that touch, such as the arms, and groin area. They can also be found on the face, lips, mouth, chest, abdomen, eyelids and buttocks. They can appear larger in size on the face.

What are the symptoms?

Molluscum Contagiosum starts out as small bumps on the skin that has an indented center. That center may itch, become tender, irritated, and sometimes painful for the individual. The growth should be treated by if left alone they will go away on their own. A growth may last six to eight weeks. Some of these growths can last up to five years.

How can it be diagnosed?

In order to confirm that an individual has Mossuscum Contagiosum, a doctor or dermatologist may scrape off the growth and examine it for the virus.

What treatments are available?

Molluscum Contagiosum treatments vary from individual to individual. If untreated, they will go away on their own. For small cases, they can be treated with topical salicylic acid cream or retinoid cream. These may help to shorten the duration of the growth. Other small cases are treated with over the counter wart medicines. These medications will usually dry up these bumps. The main goal of treatment is to reduce the itching that comes from this, as that would lead to additional irritation and infection.

Another option is having the growth frozen using liquid nitrogen. This process is known as cryotherapy. Many times the doctors will also scrape them off with a curette. This treatment, however, can lead to scarring. An electric needle is also sometimes used to pierce the center of the growth, and then the individual needs to follow up with a topical cream or gel.

Finally, laser therapy has been found effective in treating Molluscum Contagiousum. This treatment can be painful and it may take multiple treatments if an individual has more than one growth. Again these treatments will depend on the age of individual.

It is important that individuals check themselves for skin growths. Adults should also periodically check children for them also. Many times skin growths only affect younger children, and they can’t always explain what is going on with their bodies. If they are found to have Molluscum Contagiousum they will have to be kept away from other children and possibly continuing to spread the virus.


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