July 17, 2009

Molluscum Contagiosum

Last week, a colony of fleshy bumps sprouted on Kellen's torso. We had just read a book about warty trolls, and when the spots appeared, everyone began to eye Kellen suspiciously.

"One of us is turning into a troll," Cortlen announced authoritatively. "And it's not me."
"It's definitely not me either," said Camber as she leaned in for a closer look at her brother's stomach.

Before dissolving into tears, Kellen turned to me for reassurance. I shrugged my shoulders and did my best to console him.

"It's in your genes, what can I say?" I told him. Although I lack fleshy growths, I do have several other defining characteristics of the mythical beast including a surly temperament, mood swings, and a large nose.

My husband didn't doubt my diagnosis, but just to be safe, suggested that I take Kellen to the pediatrician. Needless to say, we were all in shock when the doctor scoffed at my medical theories and diagnosed my five-year-old instead with a common and highly contagious childhood skin virus called Molluscum Contagiosum (I can't tell you how much I like the name of this virus...it's pretty much the embodiment of awesome).

"The bumps will go away on their own in 6 to 12 months," the doctor told me.

"You're only going to be a troll for a few months," I told Kellen on the way out to the parking lot. "You'd better enjoy it while you can."

To celebrate, I took all the kids to 7-11 for Slurpees. On the way home, Cortlen--who is notoriously stingy--announced that he was sharing his frozen treat with his brother.

"That's wonderful!" I gushed, praising his generosity. "Thank you soooo much!"

When we got home, I opened the back door to find Cameron's (my nine-month-old) face--from nose to chin--stained a bright shade of cherry red.

Cortlen beamed. I screeched. "AH!" I yelped. "I didn't realize you were sharing your Slurpee with THAT brother," I announced.

"You didn't ask," Cortlen said matter-of-factly.

*******
P.S. One of my recent posts is featured HERE today!!!

81 comments

Lindy said...

6-12 months?!?! Poor kid...although he already capatilized with the coveted slurpee - kudos to him.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure one of the other kids will have it (or so they say) and also ask for a "slurpee" reward. :)

Natalie

jle122 said...

both my boys have molluscum right now. It seems to be going away though (the first sign was in April). I used straight Tea Tree Oil on the bumps and changed his sheets alot (b/c he itched at night and opened the bumps), used a new towel/ washcloth for each shower. The little guy didn't get it so bad b/c he didn't itch. Its the goo inside the bumps that spreads it. Dont put them in the tub together

A.F.P. said...

I have 7 year old twin girls...Last summer, Chandler had it and it took a full 12 months for them to go away. At one point she 36 bumps on her body (which spread from the torso to other places as well). She was not at all embarrassed by this situation and would announce to people, "I have viral warts...Do you want to see them?" Awesome.

Angie :)

{Kiki} said...

Never heard of molluscum. Must be fun looking like a troll though. Think of all the imaginary games they could play. A slurpee sounds good right about now in this heat. I'm following you now. Have a wonderful weekend and Aloha!
-Kiki

mary said...

we have one of my three boys infected with the troll warts since may. he just showed me his new "patch" last night (in an area i cannot name here). poor kid. the only thing i dread is that it takes a long time to go away and a long time for it to show up as a visible infection. say, in 6-12 months on one his younger brothers. what a great gift.

babyyahyah said...

my kids have them too and they have taken a lot longer than 6-12 months to go away

Samantha said...

It's interesting that your pediatrician said it was pretty common. It must be. Both of my sons, my niece, and both nephews have had it. But, my husband nor myself ever heard of it before.

Our pediatrician gave us medicated ointment to put on each "dot" (that turned into our sons' codeword of sorts, so as not to say that they had contagious warts in public). Theirs were huge in number, in the hundreds at their worst, strictly contained to their armpit area. Eventually, they got so big we had to lance them...not fun! Let's just say that if you're the meanest mom, that little episode in our family's life makes me a close second! :0)

Cindy said...

The molluscum doesn't sound like much fun. On the sharing note: my 3 year old shared his raisins with his 4 week old sister because "she said she wanted one!" We had daily talks about how she doesn't have teeth to chew food yet. I still don't think he gets it.

Anonymous said...

One of mine is dealing with this too, but the dermatologist gave him some meds that make him scream like hes burning, so we quit using it. The doc told us that the can also spread, from kid to kid, so make sure they wash their hand, especially before going to the bathroom since they can also show up in the nether regions so to speak. When I first heard it all I could think was that it sounded very Harry Potterish. Good luck-

Lolli said...

Oh boy. Do you have your work cut out for you. We've had our fair share of molluscum. The problem: EACH INDIVIDUAL bump will go away within 6-12 months, but in the mean time, new ones will form with a life of their own, PLUS they spread to other kids very easily. Seriously, they were a nightmare. They almost had my daughter banned from kindergarten (other parents were worried their children would come home covered in bumps, too) and one "friend" called to yell at me for passing it to her daughter and all of her preschool friends. I tried everything, and the only two things that worked were snipping them off and applying blister beetle juice (no joke--that was the name of the stuff applied at the dermatologist). Good luck!

edith said...

My daughter caught the dreaded mollusks from her cousin. You can speed the demise of this infection by opening up each bump and pulling out the "seed." Each seed is attached by a little tether, just so you know you will meet resistance. (Aside from the child's, I mean.)
This disgusting bit of info was brought to you just in case you are a "picker."
As my father-in-law says, "There are two kinds of people in this world: those that pick scabs, and those that don't."

Jen said...

My oldest had molluscum but it didn't go away on it's own or w/ medicine...he had a ton though...maybe 75 on his belly & a dozen scattered around his body. We went to a ped dermotologist who used "numbing" cream & then a metal tool to SCRAPE them off...NOT fun. Now if he gets a bumb of ANY kind he gets nervous that there may be another trip to the bumb doctor! Here's hoping his go away on their own!!!

HW said...

Wow! I am really feeling lucky that my kids never had that. It sounds terrible.

No picture of Cameron with slushee on his face...?

cole said...

hope cameron did get a "brain freeze"!

Melissa said...

My son has it too, pretty sure he got it from a kid at day care. They don't seem to bother him hardly at all, only when there is one right where the waistband of his shorts are. Our pediatrician (who got his medical degree in 1955 and is wonderful) said that it is really common and not to worry about it, other than it can spread so wash your hands often and don't share towels, wash cloths, etc.

Renny said...

Well he is right you didn't. I still think its cute he'd try and share it with them. My sister has got the same sort of thing showing up, it hasn't been diagnosed but... maybe this thing is going around, the country that is, since my sister is in AZ.

Sarah said...

Wow, you handled that really well. I think I would kinda freak out if I saw that show up and I had no idea what it was.

Anonymous said...

I have triplets who got them from their older sister. The Doctor's advice......don't let the kids touch each other for the next 8-12 months or they will spread to each kid. hahahaha! Are you kidding me?!? Sure....I'll make sure they don't touch each other for the next 8-12 months :) And then I will waive my magic wand and create world peace :)

Becky T said...

My sons both have this right now too and our pediatrician insisted that we go see a dermatologist immediately. So we went to the dermatologist and he has been burning them off like warts and we've been going back every three weeks until they're cleared up. Kind of a pain to go so often, but also nice to get them gone. Gotta love having little trolls, huh?!

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Oh, those don't sound too fun. I hope they don't spread to your other kids, especially little Cameron. Who enjoyed his first Slurpee, I am sure. :)

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Oh, good luck with that there. My daughter had it and got the bumps scraped off - VERY PAINFUL FOR HER. But everything I found online said it could last up to 5 years. So, my advice is DO NOT RESEARCH ON THE INTERNET. It just really doesn't help anything!

lerin said...

One of our twins just got the dreaded molluscum warts about a month ago...we think from the public swimming pool. Our doctor told us that canthradin use to be used in the US and was very effective however, it has been taken off the market here. My Sister in Law lives in Canada and got us the cream and we are so happy. My little guy is autistic and doesn't even really like it if other people touch his skin so lancing them off was not an option. The medicine goes on without any pain, you cover it with a bandaid, and then it burns a little about 20 minutes later, and begins to scab off. We are having good luck with this so far. Maybe you could order the stuff online?? Good luck and glad to see you are keeping a sense of humor about you!

Foursons said...

I seriously thought you made the name of your title up. Even better that you didn't!

noelle said...

Your posts always brighten my day, Jana.

Anonymous said...

Adults can get these too...my husband has a whole bunch of the bumps. They get bigger and bigger and them sort of implode if you leave them alone. He is not a picker, but the one I got I pinched off right away. They will bleed but it is not painful- the inside is like fat. Gross but pretty innocuous. I hope he does not pass them to our children.

Diane said...

I hate molluscum! My 5 year old had a few on his torso (probably from the pool) the first doctor said they would go away on their own. But being a boy, he spread them to his groin. He had a ton of them.

I finally took him to a dermatologist. He was prescribed Aldara at $300.00 a box, and the derm put beatle juice on each one.

The Aldara made his boy parts swell up. We ended up just having the beatle juice applied every 2 weeks and they are finally gone.

No one else in the family caught it (thank goodness!) When they turn red and pop, cover them with a bandade or THEY WILL SPREAD.

Kara and Theo said...

My kids got them, one of my daughters got it especially bad. They were all down her arms and legs and one even popped up on her eye. The wart decided that area wasn't the most fun place to be so it left within a few weeks. The warts that were on her arm on the inside of her left elbow left scars. They resemble chicken pox marks, but the doctor told me they would go away. It's been almost a year since she last had them, but now my younger daughter has them. I have a 10 month old that I am praying doesn't get them. Only time will tell. It's a good idea not to reuse the towels and don't share the tub. Good luck with that.

Lindsay said...

LOL! I have a 9 month old daughter with 3 older sons. I am sure they would love to share a slurpee with her too.

Mary Ellen said...

When I found my 2 year sharing his animal crackers with my 3 month old twins he looked up and said, "Joey do nice baby."

Anonymous said...

Ugh My son came down with the same thing a few months back. It is pretty gross looking. His favorite thing to do is complain about how much they itch and then try and pick them off. Lovely stuff. Good luck with it and keep your son from rubbing his "icky parts" (as my son calls it)on his siblings!!

britskit5 said...

My daughter has that as well! I think it sounds like some spell Harry Potter would do!!!

Shosh said...

when my kids first got mollescum i had no idea what it was. now everyone i know has it, and judging from your comments, all your blog readers do too! my 5 year old got it first, then my 6 year old, now my 1 year old daughter has it too. its gross. and they itch. beetle juice works, but it was paiful for my son. a year later, he still has some.
maybe banish your son from the house for a year? thats probably the easiest solution...

Kelly_cs said...

My son had it at age 3 - he called it his mellosum keymeosum. We ended up using Aldara, $$$ but it cleared it up.

Stephanie said...

al I can say is 6-12 months is a crock!!! One of my twins also has been turning into a troll with bumps for quite some time now!!! WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO LEAVE---I think---and he asks!!! : ) Hopefully soon!! but the slurpee---I just might have to go to 7/11 pronto!

Shelly said...

No they won't! My daughter has had them for over a year, WITH treatments from the dermatologist (after 4-6 trips I got tired of going).

She actually ripped one of jumping over the baby gate the other day, I'm wondering if it will reappear.

Luckily it hasn't spread to the other three.

Cruson Crew said...

I hate to contradict your Dr. but that is a load! It took over 5 years to rid our house of these pesky HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS things! Aldara and tape every night! It went through both of my girls and my little one even was left with a few scars! It was truly a nightmare! I suggest NOT CUTTING THEM OFF, that appreard to make them spread like wildfire! But you might be looking at years if nothing is done. Good Luck!

Shannon said...

What? I have never heard of this. I can't believe so many of your readers have kids with it. Crazy. And for a YEAR?!? I'm so sorry. I like the idea of banning him, though. Hilarious.

carebear71 said...

My youngest boy had that for 2 YEARS, yes, 2 YEARS. It wasn't spreading, yet wasn't getting better. I took him to the dr again because it started getting infected (he has excema as well, which aggrevated it). He prescribed medicine and sent us to a dermatologist for "beetle juice." The "beetle juice" is the only thing that worked. I would not let it go to long, it can turn bad.

Jo's girl said...

my daughter has these, I believe. but her pediatrician just called them "kid warts" (I know very scientific) but they haven't spread to my other daughter which is a miracle. cause they share baths, wrestle, and other wise torture the crap out each other just about every second of the day. her ped gave no advice on how to cope with them. she just said "they would go away, one day."
I think I need to find different pediatrician.
but they don't seem to bug her very much. she rarely scratches them. huh go figure. poor girl didn't get any thing for her trouble. go you! meanest mom my foot ;)

Heather Fretz said...

my daughter had these for a while when she was 4. be really careful because they are highly contagious. We took her to a dermatologist and they tried freezing them, which really hurt. It did go away, but not before spreading them to her brother.

Missy said...

We had this run through both the older kids.
Be sure that you use a new/separate towel and wash it every time, or it will spread.

It did take some time to get rid of it, but it did eventually go away.

Be sure that the spots aren't picked at. My son picked at his and now he has a couple of scars. Thank goodness they are on his side, where you can't see them all the time.

Chelsea and Manuel said...

Tell Camber and Cortlen to not brag too loudly, they may be next!!!! In all seriousness, I'd call the dermatologist and start getting them treated. The beetle extract or juice is the most effective way to handle it. Even if you have to do a few treatments it would be worth it!!!

Makayla said...

I was completely expecting a post about the new Harry Potter movie. :)

Tiercy said...

Ha, I think the name sounds like a curse that Harry Potter would use.

Ashley B. said...

Is it just me, or does Molluscom Contagiosum sound like a magic spell? When I started reading, I thought this post was going to be about the Harry Potter movie.

Malea said...

Keep some Zymaderm on hand for in between visits to the Dr. It's about $35 for about 2oz. but it lasts for a long time, and it keeps outbreaks under control. We've gotten my son's frozen, and now I'm considering going to the Derma Dr. for another (more painful) treatment as they're spreading to his little man parts. It's not the worst thing, but it is definately inconvenient for you and your poor son.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm probably really just a dork, but Molluscum Contagiosum sounds like a spell from Harry Potter! Feel better soon!!

Anonymous said...

Both my girls had this and it was not pleasant. The worse is yet to come, so be prepared. The bumps will swell and pop and pus and blood will come out; This cycle will repeat a number of times until they finally go away. A year is about right. When they are bumps, and not open sores, oatmeal baths can be helpful; when they are sores, use antibiotic cream and bandaids. Also, they are highly contagious and probably all four kids will eventually get them. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Molly said...

Oh my goodness...my daughters have gotten those, one of them on her FACE and yes, they have been there for a YEAR! We've been to our dr. several times about it and there is basically nothing they can do. I know, dontcha love the name? I just love having to tell my people my kids have viral warts. Anyway, good luck - hope they don't spread, luckily my girls' didn't, they just took forever to go away!
PS I love your blog!!

Kaerlig said...

I know all about Molluscum Contagiosum. Highly contagiosum...so watch out. All three of my kids had it, then the cousins. It's gone now but it took interventions.

Angie said...

Have just found your blog ... and its ....fantastic. So funny ... so true and ....so well written.

I am going to make a coffee and some toast...covered in jam ... with additives abundant ... in at least the latter two and read back on your posts. I would do it now but I fear that my, far too many, cats will have me for breakfast if I dont feed them ...NOW.

Our Kitchen said...

My friend has a son age 10 that just got over molluscum after a long ordeal. A few of the mollusks actually contracted mersa. Very scary for her. She is finally working with a derm and used beetle juice to rid all the sores. Do some research. I pray that it will not run through your family.

Wendy said...

Yup. My 3 yo has that same virus. Lovely.

Shannon said...

We have been through this. I see you are getting some advice of which I only scanned. Should you not be fortunate enough to have them just go away I want to let you know you can feel free to contact me in the future. We took our daughter for a horrendous treatment that I would never repeat only later to realize that although it is not fun you have to get the core out. As terrible as it is it is the quickest most effective way of treating it and avoiding spreading of the warts and infecting others. If you are interested I can share more of our story and failed treatments along with avoiding toxic medications that are used ineffectively to treat these warts.

vanessa said...

honestly slurpees have cured everything in my life...no joke...i consume a weirdly high amount of them

got2havefaith said...

Silly Mommy! You need to ask more questions...love the post.

mom of six said...

My daughter and son both had molluscum and our pediatrician gave us a prescription cream to put on them and they went away in about three months....

Michelle said...

Crazy! I have never heard of this rash before.

The slurpee part was funny though!

brossettelewis said...

Molluscum contagiosum is evil! I hope yours is short lived. My now 3 yr old has had at least 3-4 from the time I was on bedrest (with my now 22mo old boys). Pedias around here will not do anything about them. I heard of duck tape but we prefer to rip them off w/ tweezers, wash, and apply princess tattoo Bandaids. What a girl won't so for a bandaid around here. I've been bathing them with siblings for years and no one else has it or got it.

Jodi said...

We had that at our house too - and I found a "cure"!! My son had them all over his torso and down the back of his legs - they were spreading like wild fire and our Dr. told us there was really nothing we could do! I looked online and after MUCH research, decided to try apple cider vinegar. I soaked some cotton balls with apple cider vinegar and placed them on the bumps with a bandaid to hold them in place. I did that for 2 days on a row and on the 3rd day...they were little black scabs that fell off!! AMAZING! and we have been molescum free for about 7 months!

Melanie Diamond said...

Hi Jana,
My daughter had that, and while they DO go away on their own, they can spread in the meantime. I finally took her to a pediatric dermatologist, who was fantastic. She numbed them with lidocaine and then "scraped" them off. It didn't hurt my daughter at all, and the molloscum finally went away for good. YOu should check out his treatment options. good luck!

Donna said...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm probably really just a dork, but Molluscum Contagiosum sounds like a spell from Harry Potter! Feel better soon!!

-------------------------

That is the first thing I thought also!

Maisieharrison said...

I am a little surprised at how common this is. My little girl is 4 years old, and has been diagnosed with this also. On the downside, she is a "picker" which contributes to the spreading. In her case, her pediatrician has offered to "freeze" them (not sure of the term, only that it involves a liquid that basically causes the to come off). I haven't had it done yet because we were waiting for a couple of them to heal first. But he stated that we should do it before she ends up with hundreds of them. (because of the picking, ugh!)

The Fru-Gals said...

Viral warts OMG we had them and it was not so good, 8 children covered with these little bumps made us the lepers at the city pool..where we more than likely caught them in the first place..oh well they did go away eventually but left a few scars behind..mostly on me for having the way to many kids with bumps in public. Love the blog

Elizabeth said...

This is awesome, the troll angle is fabulous and I would not have handled it so nicely.
Had to link you on my facebook page, you really cracked me up today - thanks!

Upper West Side Mom said...

All 4 of my kids had them. I have been able to get rid of them every time with tea tree oil. I'd put it on 2 times a day and they were gone with in a week or two.

Shelli said...

I'm sure you are tired of the "we've had them" stories, but I want to share too! My son had them from about 18 months til he was 4 or 5. Now he's 8 and if you look close you can see that his tummy has tons of little dotty scars all over it. My advise is DON'T pick them or pop them- that is when they spread.

My neighbor's son has them and he calls them "shark bites"- sounds much cooler than a warty troll!

Megan B said...

Yes, we did the blister beetle juice at the doctor's office. It was great, and saved us hundreds of the little buggers for sure. I read online too many places that they took much longer than 6-12 months to go away that I wasn't taking any chances. But, my doctor said that just busting a majority of them will activate the child's body to fight off the rest and inhibit more break outs. Just a thought. I know there is a whole range of opinion out there on the "molluscum disgustum". I just didn't want to take the risk of them becoming a 3-4 year case or having them get so many that they were too many to treat, or spreading to the kids' faces like a frightening plague. Like Lolli said, each bump may last 6-12 months, but that doesn't stop new ones from erupting and starting their own horrible life cycle. My pediatrician did it in his office, but it sounds like yours hasn't heard of it yet. Maybe a dermatologist? Oh yeah, and DON'T try to pop them. I thought they were long-lasting zits so I finally popped a one and SEVERAL more appeared in the close vicinity within 48 hours. YUCK!!! Icky little virus!! Blech, bad memories. GOOD LUCK!!

Anonymous said...

3 yr old son been dealing with it since last fall. Pedi dr said it would go away in 9 - 12 months. Just took him to derm dr. MC appeared were he has exema....itching made it spread now have it on back of both knees torso and arms...going in for beetle juice treatment .......wish I would have gotten treatment early on instead of waiting ....tried silver treatment it didn't work..got $$$ back

Theresa said...

My son had these a few years ago. He had them for about 2 years, not a whole lot of them, but they just never went away. After our pediatrician told us there was nothing we could do but wait, I refused to do so. I did a lot of research online, and found a product called The Silver Cure. It came with a spray, soap, cream, and a tube of medicated liquid bandaid (to seal the open lesions). My son is quite difficult when it comes to medicine, so I probably didn't treat his spots as consistently as I could have. Even so, I saw results in a few weeks. He didn't get any new ones after I started the treatment, and he was completely clear in 3 or 4 months. If you can find this stuff, it really works!

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Yvonne said...

Hi all! I know it's been a while since this thread was first posted but I too am battling at the coal-face of the dreaded Molluscum Contagiosum with my 9-yr-old son. Tried laser treatment, colloidal silver treatment and the little b**s still multiplying. I came across the apple cider vinegar treatment. However, unlike your poster Jodi (who seems to be the only other person to mention the ACV treatment for this) the advice I got was to drink it.2 tbsps in 8 fl.oz of water up to 3 times a day depending on the severity of the lumps. This brings the lumps to a sort of scabby head (lovely, I know!) and then I put Sudocreme on to dry up the spots. I live in Ireland. Sudocreme is a zinc-based cream that is widely used for preventing nappy rash, drying up teenage spots, healing cuts and grazes and probably is responsible for the Virgin Birth for all I know but it's great stuff! Success is mine! The spots are coming to a head and drying up. It's not pretty but then neither is the molluscum in the first place. Just wanted to share with any other Mums out there who are forking out large wads of cash to dermatologists who seem to be talking through their backsidiosums most of the time. I know these things aren't painful but they look disgusting. Anything that rids our kids of them is worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

I am also using apple cider vinegar on my 12 year old son. He bathes in the avc nightly, then I put the avc on a cotton ball and secure it with a bandaid. It is working. Spots on his torso are healing, the smaller spots are disappearing. I'm hoping it doesn't leave scars. I've read that it does not. Just in case, I'm giving him vitamin e pills to assist his skin in the healing process. I have found that if doing the cotton balls at night, you only need to do it for 2-3 nights before they start scabbing over. He just has so many that I'm treating them sections at a time, and the baths keep them from getting worse. Good luck to all with mc!

Karla Rae said...

I know this is an old post, but if you're like me, you google things to find answers. This just popped up in a search I had done. I wanted to share what I've found for my son's molluscum contagiosum. He is 3 and in January about 5 or 6 bumps popped up on his torso. It's April now and he has them all over his torso, arm, and down both legs. I would say he has close to 150-200 bumps. They spread so fast. But, we have finally found the answer! Australian Lemon Myrtle oil. It is the key. It's a lot of work, but if you dilute it in olive oil (I do a 50/50 ratio) and use a q-tip to dab on each bump, 3 times a day, they will scab over and go away. I am so excited about this! Also, the bigger most stubborn bumps react REALLY well to apple cider vinegar, but that is harsh on the skin. Either way, this is the only thing that I have found to be effective. Hope this helps someone!

Anonymous said...

Clove oil must work the same as the lemon oil. Clove oil concentrations can vary so some need to be diluted but some can be applied directly. All you experience is a warm tingling. Dab on spot twice a day and in about a week their dead with a little scab in the center.

Anonymous said...

My daughter calls her lovely bumps Awesome Contagiosum. I got sick of them so I'm searchin for a treatment. Going to try ACV.

Anonymous said...

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!!!! BATHS & COTTON DIPPED BANDAIDE COVERED!!!! it's working on my 4 year old daughter but we're going in for beetlejuice to kill those nasty buggers

Cristy said...

This link is to my blog. I cured over 30 on my tiny girls torso. I did it with apple cider vinegar and patience. I hope it helps.

http://ohmuddypuddles.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-hits-and-misses-treating-molluscum.html?m=0#comment-form