With the arrival of summer, even within our ‘new normality’, the number of cases of Molluscum contagiosum virus multiply and fill dermatologists’ waiting rooms.
Hospiten Estepona dermatologist, Dr. Ana Marquez explains, “summer is the perfect time for the spread of this poxvirus infection in swimming pools or by contact with another infected person. The virus usually occurs more commonly in children, especially those with atopic skin or drier skin, caused by dermatitis. It can also appear in immunosuppressed adults or patients with HIV.
The lesions, called Mollusca, are a kind of growth, or spot, which are firm to the touch and pinkish in color, ranging from 1 to 5 mm in size - they are usually quite mild, but they are very contagious and as Dr. Marquez states, “Mollusca are like a spot that does not go away, that does not change in appearance or form, and can spread from one part of the body to another, and it is at that point that parents become alarmed and consult us. ” If it is not acted upon, the infection can last up to 2 years.
Typically, this infection is asymptomatic, "but there are times when the lesions become irritated, red and inflamed and may fill with pus," continues the dermatologist. Sometimes the mollusca evolve and children can have warts all over their body, and treatment becomes necessary.
There are various treatment methods - with topical application of an acidic substance to dry the lesions out, and which can be administered at home or in the doctor’s office, where it is applied to the child a minute before showering or curettage, where the lesion is painlessly scraped with a sharp instrument or curette. "Previously, the parents administer an anesthetic cream to the area and wrapped the it with cling film, and in this way the lesion is removed painlessly, and the child goes home without a wart," concludes the doctor.
The important thing is to know how to avoid spreading the virus and some preventions measures are:
- Do not share clothing or towels
- Avoid swimming pools that cannot guarantee cleanliness and hygiene
- Do not sit around the edge of the pool
- If your child shows symptoms of infection, it is better to avoid activities with other children
- Showering the child is more recommended that bathing, and frequent hand washing
- Care for your child’s skin with mild, moisturizing products