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Molluscum Contagiosum: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus. It causes small pearly or flesh-coloured bumps. The bumps may itch. It can also cause a rash. The virus spreads easily but is usually not harmful. However, the infection can be serious in people with a weak immune system.

Molluscum contagiosum is most common in children younger than 10.

Without treatment, molluscum contagiosum usually goes away in 2 to 4 months. In some cases, it may take a year or longer for it to go away. You may want treatment if the bumps bother you or you want to keep them from spreading. Treatments include removing the bumps or freezing or putting medicine on them. Treatment depends on where the bumps are. Bumps in the genital area are usually removed.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems with your medicine.
  • After the bumps have been treated, keep the area clean and protected.
  • Try not to scratch the bumps. Put a piece of tape or bandage over the bumps.
  • Avoid contact sports, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
  • Do not share your razor, towel, or face cloth. That can spread molluscum contagiosum.
  • Avoid shaving if you have bumps on your face.
  • Do not have sex if you have bumps in your genital area.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of infection such as:
    • Pain, warmth, or swelling in the skin.
    • Red streaks near the bumps.
    • Pus coming from a bump.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.