Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment in Pittsburgh, PA
If you have the Molluscum Contagiosum virus and want to see a PA dermatologist for solutions, Premier Plastic Surgery and Dermatology can offer you a solution. We offer treatments in the office as well as home care options to address the symptoms. No need to be ashamed of a skin problem when a PA dermatologist is nearby and ready to offer help. Call us today and see how different living with a skin condition can be when a PA dermatologist is working with you.
What is Molluscum Contagiosum
- It is a virus that usually causes mild skin disease. The virus affects only the outer (epithelial) layer of skin and does not circulate throughout the body in healthy people.
- The virus causes small white, pink, or flesh-colored raised bumps or growths with a dimple or pit in the center. The bumps are usually smooth and firm. In most people, the growths range from about the size of a pinhead to as large as a pencil eraser.
- The bumps may appear anywhere on the body, alone, or in groups. They are usually painless, although they may be itchy, red, swollen and/or sore.
- Molluscum usually disappears within 6 to 12 months without treatment and without leaving scars. Some growths may remain for up to 4 years.
Who gets Molluscum Contagiosum
- Molluscum infections occur worldwide but are more common in warm, humid climates and where living conditions are crowded.
- Molluscum is common enough that you should not be surprised if you see someone with it or if someone in your family becomes infected. Although not limited to children, it is most common in children 1 to 10 years of age.
How do people become infected with the molluscum virus
- The virus that causes molluscum is spread from person to person by touching the affected skin. The virus may also be spread by touching a surface with the virus on it, such as a towel, clothing, or toys. Once someone has the virus, the bumps can spread to other parts of their body by touching or scratching a bump and then touching another part of the body. Molluscum can be spread from one person to another by sexual contact. It is highly contagious, thus its name.
How long does the molluscum contagiosum virus stay in my body
- The virus lives only in the skin and once the growths are gone, the virus is gone and you cannot spread the virus to others.
Treatment Options in the Health Care Setting
- Cryotherapy (freezing the molluscum growth)
- Curettage (scraping the molluscum growth)
- All options may be a little painful and should only be done by a health care professional. Both curettage and cryotherapy methods may leave scars. In a small percentage of cases, natural healing of molluscum contagiosum bumps lead to scars regardless of type of therapy.
Treatment Options in the Home Setting
- Creams that include certain chemicals (i.e., salicylic acid, podophyllin, tretinoin, and cantharidin) may be used to remove the bumps. There is also a newer cream (imiquimod) that helps strengthen the skin’s immune system.
- The oral medicine cimetidine has been used for treatment of molluscum in small children. This medicine is available only by prescription. As with all medications, cimetidine may cause unwanted side effects