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Molluscum Contagiosum

Intro

Sometimes the lesions can become irritated, inflamed, and infected by bacteria. If this occurs, consult a doctor to discuss the need for antibiotics.

Lesions involving the eyelids may be associated with conjunctivitis (pink eye) and require special treatment.

Follow-up

It is not necessary to keep children who are infected with molluscum contagiosum out of school, although physical contact and sharing of clothes and towels should be discouraged.

Prevention

Good personal hygiene is a key factor in avoiding transmission of this disease.

  • MC is spread by close personal contact with infected people. Avoid skin-to-skin contact with others in order to prevent transmission.
  • Transmission has been shown to occur in children from swimming pools and in the sharing of baths, towels, gym equipment, and benches.
  • Because the rash can spread by autoinoculation (spread from one part of the body to another by touching the lesions), avoid scratching the lesions.
  • Because sexual transmission is common in adults, avoid sexual contact with infected people. It is unclear whether condoms are effective in preventing spread of MC.
Outlook

The overall prognosis is excellent. Spontaneous cure is the rule in people who have intact immune systems, but the process may take months or even years.

  • Individual lesions may last two to four months, and the development of new lesions by autoinoculation is common.
  • Most cases go away by themselves in six to 12 months.
  • Those cases that last for years typically occur in people with impaired immune systems.
  • Reinfection can occur.

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