Molluscum contagiosum lesions are seen quite frequently in children. from 2 to 5 years. In the case of adults, it is normally considered a sexually transmitted disease. Its contagion is variable, as it is produced by direct contact with the lesion or with an object that has come into contact with it, such as towels, clothes, toys, etc.
The incubation period is from 2 to 7 weeks. after viral exposure. It occurs with a higher incidence in children, sexually active adults and people with impaired cellular immunity.
Its incidence is greatest in summer.as it is one of the seasons when the skin is most exposed, but it can occur throughout the year.
But do you really know what molluscum contagiosum consists of? We will explain it below.
What is molluscum contagiosum and how does it manifest itself?
Molluscum contagiosum is a benign viral infection of the skin.. It’s not dangerous and can go away on its own. It is caused by a poxvirus.
After the incubation period, lesions appear on the skin. as papules or nodules 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter. They can occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles. They are most frequently found in the following areas:
- arms and hands.
They are raised lesions, with a pearly appearance and a central umbilication. Although these lesions do not cause any symptoms, sometimes they can be tricky. It is possible that they become irritated, eczematous, superinfected or simply localized in more sensitive areas, such as the genitals and eyelids.
Molluscum contagiosum diagnosis
This pathology is mainly diagnosed with visual examination of the lesion by the appropriate practitioner at the time of consultation. In fact, they are often discovered by chance in the physical exams.
The use of a dermatoscope can help better visualize the characteristic blisters and holes. Sometimes a scraping or sample or biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis by histopathological study.
The duration of the lesions varies from one week to one and a half years.. During this time, some lesions may disappear on their own and new ones may develop. The molluscum contagiosum virus only affects the surface of the body and never spreads further.
In the vast majority of cases, the molluscs heal without leaving any kind of scar or markexcept in specific cases where there was a lot of inflammation involved or a secondary infection.
What treatment options do we have?
Treatment isn’t necessary if the lesions aren’t bothersome, as they disappear on their own in a few months or years. However, they must be covered to reduce the risk of contagion.
If necessary, the treatment options the choice will depend on the patient’s age, the extent of the lesions and the possible presence of other skin pathologies. THE most common treatments are the following:
- Scraping or curettage, after applying anesthetic cream: surgery which consists in the removal of the molluscum contagiosum.
- Cryotherapy or cooling: destroys lesions by freezing with liquid nitrogen and subsequent necrosis. It is a quick and efficient method.
- Drug treatment or immunotherapy: prescription drugs that modify the body’s immune response and work against the virus that caused the infection. These creams are applied for weeks or months.
- Photodynamic Therapy: a photosensitizing cream and a red light source are applied.
- Electrocautery or laser burns: It can be painful and often leaves scars.
Read also: The laser in pediatric dermatology: how does it work?
Recommendations to prevent contagion
Some recommendations to avoid the contagion of the mollusc are the following:
- Avoid direct contact with skin lesions.
- Do not share towels or personal items with those affected.
- Be careful in sexual intercourse: avoid direct contact until the lesions have completely disappeared.
- Wash your hands often.
- Take care of your skin by using hygiene products that are non-irritating.
- Use moisturizers.
- Wear clothing that covers the affected areasor some dressing or gauze.
- Choosing the shower instead of the bath.
- Avoid scratching or shaving the affected skinas this can spread the lesions to other parts of the body and cause self-injection.
- Avoid shaving with a razor blade because it can also spread the lesions.
Although the lesions caused by the molluscum are not dangerous to health, it can cause serious emotional and psychological problems. Also, don’t forget that they are contagious.
Therefore, it is essential to act quickly and with the appropriate treatmentwithout endangering your health. In case of detecting any abnormality in the skin, a dermatologist should be consulted.
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