Just her “little bumps”

Audrey has molluscumcontagiosum.  We call them her little bumps. Over the past year she has become quite accustom to explaining to anyone that might ask, “It’s okay, they do not hurt, they are just my little bumps.” A few months ago it appeared as if the original bumps were spontaneously resolving- Yea!!! However, that was not the case. It diminished and then reappeared with a vengeance. And since that time, has continued to spread from her shin to her shoulder to her chin and her bottom; and then they began to pop up on Ethan. So, we have finally resorted to seeking treatment.

What is molluscumcontagiosum you might ask?

It is a virus that is passed from person to person, or from contact with clothing or towels used by an infected person, or even sharing a wrestling or gym mat with someone who has them. The infection is quite common. It causes small (1-3mm) flesh or pink colored bumps. Some may have a depression in the center described as an umbilication. They typically do not bother the person that they infect, but they can be itchy. However, if a person picks at the bumps they can spread them to other parts of their body. A typical infection will lead to about 10-20 bumps. These bumps may crop up within weeks after exposure, or take months to appear, that makes it nearly impossible to identify from where it was contracted. If you live in warm climates, have eczema, or have a weak immune system, then you are more likely to be infected. Because these bumps are benign, do not cause harm, and will often go away on their own, you do not HAVE to seek treatment for them. As a matter of fact, in children who are otherwise healthy, dermatologist may even recommend not treating them because of the side effects of treatments. However, should you desire to seek treatment for your child, a dermatologist is the doctor who may offer treatment. Some of the treatments involve freezing the bumps, cutting the bumps off or using a laser, or applying medications to the bumps. Typically with treatment the bumps will go away within 2-4 months and you will no longer be considered contagious.

Here are some other tips for not contracting or spreading the virus:

1.)    Do not share towels, clothing, or wash cloths with other people.

2.)    Keep any bumps you have covered in order to decrease your ability to scratch and spread to yourself, as well as prevent spread to others via direct contact.

3.)    Keep skin well hydrated by using a cream or an ointment daily or twice daily.

4.)    If you see lesions, seek medical attention with your physician or a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment others because you want to rule out other causes of similar lesions such as skin cancer

So far, one month into treatment, Audrey is tolerating the topical medicine well and some of the bumps are gone. She is so excited because as she says, “ Isn’t it AMMMMAZZING mom how your body will heal? Look, my bumps are going away!”

Until next time… stay healthy!

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