18 doctors weighed in:

How do I keep my child's molluscum from spreading?

18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Pediatrics
8 doctors agree

In brief: Keep the skin moist

The easiest way to spread molluscum is by scratching at dry skin- this typically unroofs the virus and then the child "auto-inoculates" another place on the skin.
I generally recommend keeping the skin moist by using a good moisturizing lotion/cream at least twice a day. If the spots are becoming unsightly, call your doctor about possibly having them treated though they often go away on their own.

In brief: Keep the skin moist

The easiest way to spread molluscum is by scratching at dry skin- this typically unroofs the virus and then the child "auto-inoculates" another place on the skin.
I generally recommend keeping the skin moist by using a good moisturizing lotion/cream at least twice a day. If the spots are becoming unsightly, call your doctor about possibly having them treated though they often go away on their own.
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Dr. Lisa Roberts
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Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Have it treated.

It's not called "molluscum contagiosum" for nothing - those pesky bumps tend to spread locally on the body, and then to other kids' bodies.
Stop it from spreading by having it treated. Dermatologists use a vesiculant called cantharidin, or freeze them with liquid nitrogen. Imiquimod cream is often effective as well, although that is an off-label use of that medication.

In brief: Have it treated.

It's not called "molluscum contagiosum" for nothing - those pesky bumps tend to spread locally on the body, and then to other kids' bodies.
Stop it from spreading by having it treated. Dermatologists use a vesiculant called cantharidin, or freeze them with liquid nitrogen. Imiquimod cream is often effective as well, although that is an off-label use of that medication.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
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2 comments
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Often molluscum do not have to be treated. They tend to resolve by themselves within months. Treatment is reserved for lesions that are irritated or unsightly. Applying peroxide to the affected areas 2-3 times a day may reduce the spread.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
I understand that benign neglect is a popular treatment among pediatricians; but all too often, the virus spreads to other kids before it can resolve spontaneously, so dermatologists tend to recommend treatment. That policy may be tainted by selection error, since we mostly see the recalcitrant cases; but if my kid had them, I'd treat them.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Cover or ignore it

Molluscum occasionally become itchy & scratching the area can spread it .
A simple bandaid or other cover can help prevent the spread if it is localized. If the area is broad, just ignore it as the body will eventually shed them all within a few months. If a few become inflamed as they begin to shed, treat as if a simple cut or scratch to prevent skin bacteria from causing a localized infection.

In brief: Cover or ignore it

Molluscum occasionally become itchy & scratching the area can spread it .
A simple bandaid or other cover can help prevent the spread if it is localized. If the area is broad, just ignore it as the body will eventually shed them all within a few months. If a few become inflamed as they begin to shed, treat as if a simple cut or scratch to prevent skin bacteria from causing a localized infection.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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In brief: See a dermatologist

for treatment.
They may go away on their own, but will probably spread on your child and possibly to others first.

In brief: See a dermatologist

for treatment.
They may go away on their own, but will probably spread on your child and possibly to others first.
Dr. Deborah Ungerleider
Dr. Deborah Ungerleider
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