Molluscum Contagiosum

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Molluscum Contagiosum is a common and harmless viral infection of the skin that appears on the skin as small, pink or pearly white lumps. It is contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person. While it is more prevalent in children and young adults, it can occur at any age.

Below, you will find helpful information and advice on understanding and treating this condition. Don't forget to visit our blog for additional tips on managing molluscum naturally.

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Molluscum Contagiosum is a common and harmless viral skin infection. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person. Although it is more common in children and young adults, it can affect individuals of any age.

In children, this condition is easily identifiable. It manifests as small, painless, pink, or pearly white bumps on the skin. The bumps have a concave center and contain a white core. The infection is generally mild, as it only affects the skin and tends to resolve on its own over time, though this process can take a while. Individual bumps often disappear within approximately two months, but since multiple bumps are common, complete resolution may take six to nine months. In rare cases, the infection can persist for up to two years.

These dome-shaped bumps resemble warts and have a shiny appearance. The most distinctive feature is the dimple in the center, which contains a thick, creamy off-white substance. Initially, one or two bumps may appear, but they can rapidly spread and cover the entire body within a few days.

Doctors can usually diagnose Molluscum Contagiosum by examining the bumps. In some cases, they may take a sample from one of the nodules for further confirmation.

Several medical studies suggest that children with atopic dermatitis and eczema may have more persistent Molluscum bumps that last longer. Additionally, individuals with eczema may be more susceptible to flare-ups, infections, and skin irritations due to a compromised skin barrier, which allows allergens to penetrate easily, leading to itching and inflammation.

It is important to note that Molluscum Contagiosum does not cause any long-term health issues. People with weakened immune systems may experience more bumps, and their clearance may take longer.

Once infected, your child can easily spread Molluscum Contagiosum to other people or different areas on their own body. The Molluscum virus is usually transmitted through close personal contact, such as from family members or other infected children they swim or bathe with, or by sharing towels. The virus is commonly found in warm water, so children often contract it in swimming pools and baths. It can also be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact involving the Molluscum spots.

It may take weeks or even months for the spots to appear after your child has come into contact with the Molluscum virus. If left untreated, the condition itself will eventually disappear, but this process could take up to 1-2 years or more.

Typically, these skin lesions are asymptomatic, but the spots can become very itchy or sore if they become inflamed or infected. Picking at the bumps can cause further spread since they are highly contagious. Redness on the skin or the development of eczema around the spots may also occur.

Most adults have been exposed to Molluscum during their youth and are therefore immune, so it is unlikely that you will become infected by touching your child's spots.

Good personal hygiene is important to help prevent the spread of Molluscum. If your child has Molluscum, keep these tips in mind:

  • Encourage your child not to scratch or rub the bumps
  • Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly using antibacterial soap or hand wash
  • Avoid taking baths (and towel sharing). Opt for quick showers instead, as the virus thrives in moisture and the virus can spread to other parts of the body
  • If your child does have a bath, don’t share it with other children and avoid bath toys
  • Wash and dry any bath toys after use, as they can spread the virus
  • When drying off, avoid using the same towel with family members.  
  • Do not share face washers or clothing
  • Continue using antibacterial creams until all signs of Molluscum have disappeared
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching your child’s Molluscum spots
  • It is best to keep the child away from people who are on chemotherapy or have immunocompromised systems
  • Avoid direct skin contact with Molluscum Contagiosum bumps and ensure that all bumps are covered with clothing (long sleeves) or a watertight bandage if your child is participating in group activities with high risk of transmission
  • Wash towels, clothes and bedding separately with hot water, a cup of vinegar, and three drops of Manuka Oil to eliminate the virus.  The virus can survive a cold wash cycle.

When you pop Molluscum Contagiosum bumps, the skin is broken, exposing the inside of the bump. If you have done this before, you may have noticed a white gooey substance. This substance is where the virus is contained and is the most contagious part.

It is best not to pop the bumps as this exposes the body to the most contagious part of the virus. Doing so may cause the virus to spread, and more bumps may appear. Popping the bumps will not eliminate your Molluscum Contagiosum; it can make it even harder to treat and eliminate.

In the early stages, you won't see much change; in fact, it is common for the spots to spread further at the beginning of treatment. It takes some time for our products and the body's immune system to start clearing the virus, so try to persevere. Remember, Molluscum Contagiosum is not harmful, just unsightly, so keep applying a little Mānuka Oil and Body Lotion twice daily and spread it over the spots. It does not need to be rubbed into the skin. Once the body's immune system starts to clear up the Molluscum, you might see redness, some swelling, crusting, and maybe even drainage of the area. This is the 'beginning of the end' sign and means the bumps are clearing. It may take anywhere from three weeks to three months to clear once this inflammatory response is seen. Definitely talk with your doctor if there are any concerns.

1. An epidemic study of molluscum contagiosum. Relationship to swimming; Niizeki K, Kano O, Kondo Y. 1984.

2. Experience with Molluscum contagiosum and associated inflammatory reactions in a pediatric dermatology practice: the bump that rashes; Emily M. Berger, MD; Seth J. Orlow, MD, PhD; Rishi R. Patel, MD; Julie V. Schaffer, MD. 2012.

3. Molluscum contagiosum: the importance of early diagnosis and treatment; Tyring SK. 2003.

4. Experience with Molluscum contagiosum and associated inflammatory reactions in a pediatric dermatology practice: the bump that rashes; Emily M. Berger, MD; Seth J. Orlow, MD, PhD; Rishi R. Patel, MD; Julie V. Schaffer, MD. 2012.

5. The epidemiology of molluscum contagiosum in children; Dohil MA, Lin P, Lee J, Lucky AW, Paller AS, Eichenfield LF. 2006.

6. Epidemiology and impact of childhood molluscum contagiosum: a case series and critical review of the literature; Choong KY, Roberts LJ. 1999.

7. Molluscum contagiosum, swimming and bathing: a clinical analysis; Braue A, Ross G, Varigos G, Kelly H. 2005.

8. Clinical characteristics of molluscum contagiosum in children in a private dermatology practice in the greater Paris area, France: a prospective study in 661 patients; Osio A, Deslandes E, Saada V, Morel P, Guibal F. 2011.

9. Molluscum contagiosum: to treat or not to treat? Experience with 170 children in an outpatient clinic setting in the Northeastern United States; Hatice Basdag M.S., Barbara M. Rainer M.D. and Bernard A. Cohen M.D. 2015.

10. Time to resolution and effect on quality of life of molluscum contagiosum in children in the UK: a prospective community cohort study; Jonathan R Olsen, MSc, Prof John Gallacher, PhD, Prof Andrew Y Finlay, FRCP, Prof Vincent Piguet, FRCP, Nick A Francis, MRCGP. 2015.

11. Home Remedies for Molluscum Contagiosum


It is important to keep the skin clean and clear of the Molluscum virus to prevent its spread. We recommend using our Molluscum Bundle, which includes Body Wash, Body Lotion, and Mānuka Oil. Start by washing with our Body Wash, which is also great for frequent hand washing. Next, gently dab any infected or broken spots with our Mānuka Oil to help kill bacteria in the area.

Lastly, apply our Body Lotion to the entire affected area. There's no need to rub it into the skin. The Body Lotion provides relief for itchiness and soothe the skin. Additionally, if the affected area is not itchy, your child will be less likely to scratch and spread the Molluscum virus. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after treating your child's spots. Results may take time, so be consistent in applying the products.

Please review the full ingredient list for any known irritants or allergies. We recommend testing new products on a small patch of skin and waiting 24 hours to ensure there is no reaction. Keep in mind that even natural products may contain ingredients that may not agree with your skin. You can find more information on how to do this here.

It is important to keep the skin clean and clear of the Molluscum virus to stop it spreading. We recommend using our Molluscum Bundle: Body Wash, Body Lotion and Mānuka Oil. Wash with our antibacterial Body Wash (this is also great to have by the sink for frequent hand washing), then dab any infected or broken spots with our Mānuka Oil. This will also help kill any bacteria that may infect the area.

Lastly, apply our Body Lotion over the whole area. It doesn’t need to be rubbed into the skin. This will help provide relief for any itchiness and being antibacterial and antiviral it will help prevent any infection, inflammation of the area. Plus, if it’s not itchy your little one will be less inclined to scratch and spread the molluscum virus. Make sure to wash your own hands thoroughly after treating your child’s spots. It can take some time to see results so persevere and apply regularly, however you will get there.

Read More About Molluscum and Natural Treatments

Are you wanting to learn more natural and effective ways to address Molluscum Contagiosum? Our informative blogs provide valuable insights into recognising symptoms, understanding the condition, and discovering gentle, natural treatment options. Click below to explore our dedicated Molluscum blog section and empower yourself with the knowledge you need for a holistic approach to Molluscum care.

Please read the full ingredient list for any known irritants or allergies. We advise trying new products on a small patch of skin and waiting 24 hours to make sure there is no reaction. Any natural product on the market could contain an ingredient that won’t agree with your skin. You can read more about how to do this here.

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