Can A Child Go To School With Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is an extremely common condition in children affecting children between the age group of 1 and 12 years old. Since it is a contagious disease, children need to be guided towards better hygiene for prevention and further spread of the disease. If a growth resembling molluscum contagiosum is noticed on a child then the parents should be informed and the children should be checked by a physician to reach an accurate diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum and to rule out other probable diagnoses.
If diagnosed positive for molluscum contagiosum the children should be told to avoid scratching, touching or rubbing the bumps and advised to wash hands regularly with soap and water. The sharing of toys, towels, clothing and personal items should be avoided. Parents should keep the area of the mollusca clean and cover the area of growth with clothing or a waterproof bandage to avoid its contact with other children and also to deter the child from scratching or touching the area time and again.
Repeated touching and itching of the area may spread the lesion to other parts of the body and may lead to secondary bacterial infection too. The bandage should be changed daily or after it is soiled.
Provided, all the above requirements are met and caution is taken to avoid spread of the infection to other children or adult caretakers, there is no need to prevent a child from going to school and kept in isolation. Since, this is a very common and mild disease that has no severe implications.
Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin infection caused by poxvirus. Although, it can affect healthy individuals, mostly children between 1-12 years of age are affected along with immunocompromised individuals, such as patients with transplants, cancer or HIV/AIDS. The infection can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact and can be contracted by athletes, such as gymnasts or wrestlers. The infection itself is benign and self-limiting; however, it can become persistent and severe in cases of HIV/AIDS patients with severe immunocompromised state.
The infection occurs as small growths or bumps that may resemble warts and may be a single bump or multiple bumps with a diameter of 2-5 mm. They are usually pink or skin-colored growths that have a shiny appearance with a pit in the center and are usually fluid filled. As the name implies, the infection is contagious and not only spreads from one individual to another, but in the same individual, from one part of the body to the another part via autoinoculation.
How Can You Contract Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum virus grows in warm, humid and skanky conditions, in addition to lack of personal hygiene. The incubation period of the virus ranges from 2-7 weeks and the skin growths can be seen after this period. Children above 1 year of age can contract them easily, via direct skin-to-skin contact with other children and coming in contact with fomites, such as clothing, toys, bedding and towels of other infected individuals. The infection can also spread in young adults or elderly through sexual contact. It can spread from one part of the body to another by itching or scratching the existing mollusca.
What Are The Symptoms Of Molluscum Contagiosum?
The most common symptom of molluscum contagiosum is a painless growth on the surface of skin, which might be itchy and when scratched can become sore, red and swollen. The growth may be confused with a wart; however, it is skin toned, pink or white in color and may contain virulent fluid. A small indentation is present in the center of the bump. They may be one in number or can be found in clusters (1-20 in number). They most commonly appear in chest area, groin, arms, stomach, armpits, and genitalia and rarely in face. (People with HIV/AIDS have facial lesions).
“Molluscum Contagiosum” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/molluscum-contagiosum/index.html
- “Molluscum Contagiosum: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment” – WebMD https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/molluscum-contagiosum#1
“Molluscum Contagiosum: An Update and Review of New Perspectives in Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment” – Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology [Provide DOI or Link if available]
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