Sunday, January 29, 2012

Molluscum contagiosum or those funny wart things kids often have.

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


  1. Hi Orlena, I love your blog and have recommended it to parents of my patients. However I don't think you'd find many GPs willing to treat molloscum with topical podophyllotoxin. It's only licensed for anogenital warts and not licensed for any indication in children. Of course, we have to use lots of unlicensed drugs in paediatrics, but I think most GPs, me included, would be reluctant to use an unlicensed drug for a harmless, self-limiting condition. Also, it's horrible stuff if ingested or if it gets in the eyes, which is always a worry with young children in the house. You don't just put it on once in the surgery - it has to be used for several days.
    If treatment is needed because a particular lesion is rubbing on clothes or similar, I usually advise zapping with cryotherapy or diathermy.
    Best wishes, Jo B

  2. Hi Jo,

    Thank you for your comments and also for reading my blog. (I have to confess to referencing the bbc health page for that mistake, but that'll teach me!) As you can see, I've corrected the above post.

    I'm currently working on relaunching both the website and the blog and hope to have the new site up in a month or two. The address will be

    Thanks again