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Health Information For Teens
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin rash caused by a virus. The rash has small clear or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps can spread from one part of the body to another or from person to person. Usually, the rash goes away on its own in 6–12 months, but can take longer.
Molluscum contagiosum (pronounced: mol-US-kum kon-tay-jee-OH-sum), or molluscum for short, usually goes away on its own without medical treatment.
The rash is the telltale sign of molluscum. Its bumps:
The molluscum virus causes the rash after it enters a small break in the skin. Bumps usually appear 2–6 weeks after that.
The molluscum virus spreads easily from skin touching skin that has bumps. People also can get it by touching things that have the virus on them, such as toys, clothing, towels, and bedding. Sexually active teens with bumps in the groin or inner thighs can spread them to partners.
Molluscum most often happens in kids. But teens can get it too, especially:
Doctors can usually tell a rash is molluscum by looking at it. Sometimes they might suggest that a person see a dermatologist (skin doctor), but most teens won’t need this.
Teens with molluscum can still go to school and play sports. To prevent the spread of molluscum to other places on their body and to other people, they should:
Most of the time, molluscum clears up on its own without treatment. Each bump goes away in about 2–3 months. New bumps can appear as old ones go away, so it can take 6-12 months (and sometimes longer) for molluscum to fully go away.
Sometimes, doctors remove the bumps or help them go away more quickly. To do this, they can:
Many doctors don’t recommend these treatments, though. That’s because they can be painful and burn, blister, stain, or scar the skin. When deciding to treat a rash, they consider where the bumps are and if they’re causing itching, pain, or other problems.
To avoid molluscum and other skin infections, follow these tips:
Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of treating molluscum. The rash usually doesn’t cause long-term problems or leave scars. Often, the best way to handle it is to be patient, as hard as that might be.
Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.
Sometimes it may seem like your skin is impossible to manage, especially when you find a huge zit on your nose or a cold sore at the corner of your mouth. Here are ways to prevent and treat common skin problems.
Most warts are easy to treat and are rarely cause for alarm. Read this article for more information on warts and how to get rid of them.
Our skin protects the network of tissues, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else inside our bodies. Hair and nails are actually modified types of skin.
Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease – and they’re so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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