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Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a benign rash caused by a harmless pox virus. Small skin colored or pink bumps with a central dell can occur on various body areas in children but in adults are most commonly seen in the genital area. They are contagious and transmission is by skin to skin contact. They are usually asymptomatic but if irritated can become itchy, red and tender. Once they are red and tender, they tend to resolve within another 10-14 days.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is usually made clinically based on the characteristic appearance of molluscum contagiosum. A biopsy is rarely necessary unless lesions are unusual.

Management

In children, asymptomatic lesions need not be treated because they will eventually resolve over the course of 9 to 12 months. If treatment is desired due to appearance or symptoms, a number of modal;ities may be employed. Application of the following over the counter and prescription substances may be effective: tea tree oil (including Zymaderm), sinecatechin (green tea), salicylic acid, podophyllin, imiquimod, topical retinoids and cantharidin,. At home treatments often require multiple applications and have the potential for irritation. Length of treatment is highly variable. Individual lesions can be treated in the office via cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen, via application of a chemical blistering agent called cantharidin (commonly referred to as blister beetle juice) or via pulsed dye laser. In-office treatments are highly effective in visible lesions. Some molluscum bumps are not noticeable at time of treatment and if they develop several days later may start another crop on the skin. Application of liquid nitrogen causes some discomfort due to its very cold temperature, whereas cantharidin application is painless. Both treatments can leave permanently lighter colored marks. The pulsed dye laser causes an intense rubber band snapping sensation but leaves no scar. In sexually active adults, the molluscum lesions should be treated to avoid transmission to others. Cryosurgery is usually the treatment of choice in the genital area however topical imiquimod cream or sinecatechin ointment can be employed. Lesions can also be physically removed via curettage (scraping) but this method is less commonly employed. Sexual partners should be checked for the presence of molluscum lesions to avoid reinfection.

Coping

If the decision is made not to treat molluscum lesions in children it is important to avoid irritation to the molluscum. Scratching and chronic friction can cause mollsucum to become inflamed, red and sore. A water proof bandaid may be applied to single spots especially if molluscum is located in exposed or easily scratched area. The molluscum lesions themselves usually do not itch but they commonly occur in areas of eczema prone skin. They are also known to flare eczema (atopic dermatitis).Keeping a child's eczema or atopic dermatitis under control may lessen his or her risk for development of molluscum.

Prevention

Molluscum are spread by skin to skin contact. Infected individuals should avoid skin to skin contact with others. Parents should not bathe their children together if one child has molluscum. Single lesions in exposed areas may be covered with a waterproof band aid that is renewed daily.

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

informative and efficient

#12012-09-05 09:52:41

The information provided by the physician was very helpful and useful. I would gladly do what she recommended.

#22020-05-05

The friendliness with the staff kept me comfortable.

#32020-08-25

The Dr. was excellent in every way !

#42011-04-18 11:48:00

Electronic Files

#52010-11-15 12:09:12

Excellent staff who seem to like what they are doing! (A rarity in many offices!)

#62011-11-17 12:08:50

the fact that the garbage cans in the bathroom opened electronically.

#72012-10-16 11:13:16

It was a very good experience in all - see you next year!

#82020-08-07

Dr. Ringpfeil is extremely professional and thorough. I appreciated her manner and knowledge and will definately refer her to friends and family.

#92020-08-24

I am very impressed with Dr. Ringpfeil. She took the time to answer all my questions. I never felt rushed. I would recommend her to everyone I know.

#102020-02-25

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Everything was great

#12020-04-10

nothing

#22010-09-13 14:34:51

beethoven & mahler symphonic music pumped N2 waiting area* squash magazine & velonews & roleur periodical*(my wish list JK)

#32020-08-19

I was more than pleased with my first visit; a very warm and professional office

#42011-03-09 09:12:38

Don't change anything

#52019-12-15

Nothing I can think of

#62020-09-03

I am a little annoyed that I called to say I was on my way and I was told that I may not get here in time and will probably have to reschedule. Then when I got here, I filled out the paperwork then had to wait 20 minutes to be seen. It would be nice to know the receptionist's name so I know who I am calling when I have questions. It would be nice to have WiFi available during the wait.

#72011-06-22 17:06:20

My experience in the office today was absolutely excellent

#82020-04-10

Everyone and everything is excellent!

#92011-03-23 10:51:26

No changes recommended at this time.

#102020-04-25
Customer Rating : 4.5

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