Monday, May 3, 2010

Molluscum Contagiosum

Besides the crusty, red eczema that plagues his legs and arms, Roo has this nasty patch of hard little bumps around his ankle.  Typically it doesn't seem to bother him but it is unsightly - imagine a patch of twenty or so little warts, mostly flesh toned but every so often with a red oozer or two.  We saw the pediatrician a few weeks ago and she took a look.  Add another ailment to Roo's cirriculum vitae: Molluscum Contagiosum.

Molluscum are not warts exactly.  They are caused by a virus and are apparently, quite common in children.  They are harmless, or so I've been told, and the general consensus is to let the Molluscum run its course and the papules should go away on their own.  Sometime in the next few years, that is. 

In case you missed the implications of the name, Molluscum Contagiosum are well, contagious.  If you have them, you're not supposed to share towels or baths to avoid infecting others.  Of course, I found that out after we discovered a few papules on Looly's legs, and one on Bean's chest. 

We go to a gym class one day a week where the kids go barefoot.  Roo was in shorts last week and while no one was brave enough to broach the topic outright, I did catch a horror-stricken mother staring at his ankle.  I smiled and she gathered up her well-nourished, satin-skinned toddler and carried him to the uneven parallel bars at the opposite end of the gym.  Wonder if they'll be back next week? 

Ok, I'm being insensitive but it does beg the question, what am I supposed to do for the next several months (years??) until these things go away?  As a 20 pound 2-year-old boy who can't eat birthday cake, he's enough of a pariah as it is.  I can't keep him cloistered away forever.  On the other hand, I don't blame other parents for getting freaked out for not wanting their kids to contract ugly warts. I don't want to deal with them either.  We have been assured that the risk of infection is minimal.  But since our other two kids have them too, how minimal can this infection risk be?  Aside from lancing them off or burning them (neither of which is recommended for children his age) I'm not sure what our options are.  Has anyone else dealt with these?  Do I need to keep him covered and in seclusion?  How about the community swimming pool?  And I was looking forward to summer!


  1. UGGGHHHH...seriously...can you EVER catch a break?

    I don't have any experience, personally, with Molluscum. At one point, I thought I might have had it, but it turned out it wasn't. My girlfriend's children had it, and she lanced all of them. I am wondering, if there are not too many, maybe a dermotologist would lance them? I know it's horrible, but they are contagious, and they can totally cover a child. If I didn't get rid of them, I would probably stay home until they were gone, but then again, we are major homebodies, and don't go out much anyway. All I can say is Poor kiddos and Mommy!!!! It's GOT TO GET BETTER!!!

  2. Thanks, Maria! We're trying an herbal OTC remedy that's supposed to get rid of them. We're giving it a few weeks and I'll report back. Keeping my fingers crossed...