How is molluscum contagiosum treated in children?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes flesh-colored or pinkish bumps with a central pearl. The virus lives within the pearl, so you have to get rid of the pearl to get rid of the virus. Docs can remove them by numbing the skin, then "de-pearling" them, or dissecting out the pearl with a straight-edge razor.

If your child has lots of bumps or if they're on the face, a doc may use a prescription-strength acne medicine called azelaic acid to reduce the risk of scarring. As the name suggests, molluscum contagiosum are extremely contagious and can be spread when children share clothes, towels, or even bathe together.

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There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.