How is molluscum contagiosum manifested in children

How is molluscum contagiosum manifested in children

24.05.2022 0 By admin

Molluscum contagiosum in children is one of the types of infectious viral dermatitis that affects mucous and soft tissues. To confirm the diagnosis, you must consult a doctor, do not try to get rid of the mollusk yourself.

molluscum contagiosum in children
Molluscum contagiosum in children looks like nodules on the skin

Features of the disease

This is a common infection. Molluscum contagiosum in children is more common in preschool age, which is associated with a weak immune system. It appears as a rash in the form of small dense papules that look like a mollusk. Does not apply to internal organs.

You can get infected through close contact with a person, through linen, toys. The disease is characterized by a benign course. Due to the long incubation period, symptoms do not appear immediately. Therefore, it is problematic to determine when and where the infection occurred.

If necessary, it is possible to remove the formations together with the pathogen.

Development mechanism

The culprit is a virus from the smallpox family. It enters the body through damaged skin. Activity persists up to several months, and sometimes years. Resistant in the environment. Can be stored for a long time in damp rooms. Moves with dust through the air. Dies when exposed to high and low temperatures.

In the initial stage, the DNA of the virus is introduced into the cytoplasm of the skin cell, thereby violating its structure. There is a rapid growth and division of abnormal cells. After the appearance of the first bubbles, their further distribution is possible. Mollusk nodules ranging in size from 1 to 5 mm contain liquid, and in it there are many viruses. The bubbles burst, the pathogens get close to the skin and into the environment. Self-infection occurs during combing and rubbing already damaged areas.

A sick person is dangerous. If hygiene standards are not observed, infection is possible through household items.

The disease is contagious, therefore epidemic outbreaks occur in kindergartens and schools, social institutions. Teenagers and the elderly are also susceptible to infection. The main route of transmission in women and men is skin contact during intimacy.

Immunity to the virus develops slowly and is not permanent. After a while, the child may become infected again.

Reasons for the appearance

Infection occurs through breaks in the skin. Poor environmental conditions, unbalanced nutrition do not pose a threat to life, but increase the body’s susceptibility to infection. Babies who have atopic dermatitis or eczema are the most prone to the disease.

The main reasons for the development of the mollusk are violations of the immune defense. Factors that increase the risk of infection are as follows:

  • cuts, wounds, skin burns;
  • other infectious process or its consequences;
  • deficiency of trace elements and vitamins;
  • violation of the rules of personal hygiene;
  • hot humid climate;
  • severe genetic damage to the immune system.

Another important cause of infection is poor sanitary conditions. Doctors consider sandboxes and public reservoirs to be one of the most common ways of infecting children with molluscs.

children swim in the pond
Molluscum contagiosum is easy for children to “pick up” in water bodies

Types of disease

According to the type of infectious agent, four types of viruses are distinguished – MCV 1, 2, 3, 4. For children, the first type is the most characteristic, the second causes the disease mainly in adults. There are 5 types of molluscum contagiosum.

  • Classical. Rashes are located on a specific area in one or more places.
  • Giant. The nodules may merge into separate plaques 2 cm or more in size.
  • Generalized. Separate large groups spread throughout the body, several dozen foci are formed.
  • Ulcerative cystic. Pimples are collected in large foci with the formation of cysts and ulcers.
  • Reticular. Separately located clams on a leg.

Usually the disease is mild. With complications, the initial stage can be transformed into a generalized or ulcerative form. The reticular appearance is rare in children.

There are atypical varieties. A very small rash without characteristic impressions is formed. This form is observed in children with HIV or patients with leukemia.


All types of the disease have the same clinical signs, differ in the place of localization and the number of elements. In adolescents and preschoolers, the rash is most commonly seen on the face, trunk, and extremities. In adults, this is the abdomen, inner thighs, and areas of skin adjacent to the genitals. Rashes can also occur on the eyelids.

First, a small bubble appears. Over time, the nodules spread to other parts of the body. Usually do not cause pain, but there is a slight itch. The formations are dense, dome-shaped and flesh-colored. Further, they become softer, an impression with a white thick mass appears at the top. When a secondary infection joins, the following symptoms occur:

  • skin redness, swelling;
  • soreness and itching;
  • signs of an inflammatory process.

If the nodules are located on the child’s eyelid, it can cause conjunctivitis. With a complicated course, the baby definitely needs medical help.


The doctor determines the disease by the nature of the rash. Its distinguishing feature is the deepening on the papule. It is filled with a curd mass, in which the pathogen is located. Differential diagnosis is necessary with the following diseases:

  • flat warts;
  • red moles;
  • acne vulgaris;
  • milia, or millet;
  • pustular skin diseases;
  • rubella;
  • chickenpox.

If a patient needs to have a molluscum removed, a dermatologist may schedule a consultation with a surgeon or physiotherapist. In case of an atypical course, the content of the papule is analyzed. Differential diagnosis with an oncological process requires a biopsy and histology.

How to get rid of molluscum contagiosum

Treatment of children’s skin diseases is the task of a dermatologist. Mild degree does not cause discomfort and anxiety. Therefore, doctors advise to wait until the disease subsides. In order not to injure a small child, it is not recommended to remove the mollusk. It is impossible to completely get rid of the virus, but immunity is developed, which significantly reduces the occurrence of relapses.

If an inferiority complex appears in a child due to a cosmetic defect, the procedure is performed with the consent of an adult. Removal of the mollusk is carried out in such cases:

  • the risk of permanent mechanical damage to the elements;
  • formations in adolescents are located on the skin of the genital organs;
  • rashes on the eyelids;
  • with multiple cosmetic defects.

If numerous elements cause inconvenience, resort to specialized treatment. Manipulation is performed by a doctor under sterile conditions. Mechanically, the mollusk is removed with tweezers or a Volkmann spoon. The content of the papule is completely released. The procedure is painful, especially in the face area, local anesthesia is used.

The elements of the rash are destroyed by liquid nitrogen. The impact on each nodule lasts from 6 to 20 seconds. After cryotherapy, crusts remain that should not be torn off and combed.

The most painless and fastest method is laser therapy. When removed by a laser, the mollusk dies. It is used for cosmetic purposes.

With this therapy, re-infection is excluded, scars and scars do not remain.

The structure of the nodule is destroyed with the help of an electric current, by the method of coagulation. All of these methods require careful surface treatment with an antiseptic and cauterization of wounds with iodine.

If the procedure is carried out at the initial stage, when the virus is especially active, there is a risk of a rash growing, and scars remain on the skin.

At home, you cannot remove the mollusk yourself. Manipulation carried out in non-sterile conditions can cause bacterial infection of wounds. According to the doctor’s prescription, drugs for external use and drugs that stimulate the defense mechanism, vitamins, and trace elements are used.

Apply ointments based on trichloroacetic and salicylic acid. The child will not be afraid of such procedures at home. Oxolinic ointment is applied to the nodules with a thick layer. Papules are cauterized with salicylic alcohol. After a few days, they dry out and become covered with a crust.

child playing in the sandbox
Molluscum contagiosum in children may appear after playing in the sandbox

Treatment with folk methods

In combination with pharmaceutical preparations, you can use self-made plant-based products. They should be used with the permission of the doctor, given the age of the child.

It is not recommended to treat papules for babies under 6 years old.

It is useful to make applications from a decoction of a string. The solution is prepared from 200 ml of boiling water and 2 tbsp. tablespoons of herbs in a water bath for 15 minutes. Wipes moistened with infusion are applied to the affected skin. Prepare funds before use. It is important to remember that traditional treatments can cause an allergic reaction. Rashes can be treated with a pharmacy tincture of calendula 3-5 times a day.

At home, the nodules are carefully smeared with garlic juice 5-6 times so as not to cause skin burns. You can not use the method on the face and mucous membranes.

Prevention of complications

The disease is not dangerous, but there is a risk of infection of family members, children in the garden or school. Since the duration of the disease is long, there is a threat of self-infection. To prevent complications, you must follow the following rules:

  • avoid damage to the elements of the rash – do not comb or squeeze;
  • avoid skin irritation with clothing;
  • boil bed linen, towels, underwear, then iron, repeat regularly until recovery;
  • cover the areas of the rash with clothing, if necessary – with a bandage;
  • wash hands with soap and water after contact with affected areas.

To prevent streptoderma, the nodules can be wiped with disinfectants.

The appearance of a mollusk on the body is a signal of a weakening of the body’s defense system and the occurrence of diseases associated with immunodeficiency. To detect them, a timely examination of the child is necessary.

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