Molluscum contagiosum is a very common childhood viral infection. It is similar to warts, causing pearly white papules that are shiny and have a little dimple in the middle. It is most common in children between the ages of 2 and 5. The papules may clear up in a few weeks but more commonly they don't go for a couple of years. Eventually they do go by themselves.
Normally no treatment is needed. However, if they cause problems such as rubbing on clothing or becoming painful and inflamed, they can be treated using cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) or diathermy (often used in surgery to cauterise blood vessels). If the molluscum is really bad, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist.
Children can go to school or nursery if they have molloscum contagious.
Image: E van Herk