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Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

Molluscum Contagiosum Prevention

  • Because it can be spread by direct person-to-person contact, try to avoid direct skin contact with others who are infected. Affected individuals should cover the exposed lesions with clothing or a bandage to reduce the chance of transmission. It is not necessary to keep infected children out of school.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, clothing, and razors. Avoiding contact with potentially infected objects such as gym equipment, mats, and benches is also recommended.
  • Because the rash can spread by autoinoculation (spread from one part of the body to another by touching the lesions), avoid scratching or picking at the lesions.
  • Because sexual transmission is common in adults, avoid sexual contact with infected people. Condoms may not be entirely effective in preventing the disease, as lesions may be on areas of skin not protected by condoms.

Molluscum Contagiosum Prognosis

The overall prognosis is excellent, as molluscum contagiosum is a self-limiting condition and spontaneous resolution is the rule for individuals who have intact immune systems. However, in immunocompromised individuals, the skin lesions can be much more persistent, widespread, and difficult to eradicate.

  • Individual lesions typically completely resolve within six to 12 months in healthy individuals, though they can sometimes be present for up to four years. In certain immunocompromised individuals, the lesions sometimes never resolve completely.
  • The development of new lesions by autoinoculation is common.
  • Some people may experience scarring, either from scratching, abrasion of the lesions, or from undergoing procedures to remove the lesions.
  • Secondary bacterial infection of the skin lesions is possible.
  • Even if you've had molluscum contagiosum previously, reinfection is still possible.
  • There is currently no vaccine available for molluscum contagiosum.

For More Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/index.htm

American Academy of Dermatology
http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m---p/molloscum-contagiosum

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Descriptions of molluscum contagiosum have been in the medical literature since 1817.

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