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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection. It is caused by a pox virus. This disease is more common among people who have trouble fighting infections. This includes people with a weak immune system.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your bumps become swollen, red, painful, or drain pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need the following:
- Medicine may be given to treat the skin infection and prevent it from spreading. Medicine may be given as a pill, cream or gel. You may also need medicine to help your body fight the infection if you have a weak immune system.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum:
- Wash your hands. Always wash your hands after touching the infected area. Also wash your hands after you use the bathroom. If no water is available, use germ-killing hand lotion or gel to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand lotion or gel works best.
- Do not share personal items with others. Do not share items that have come in contact with bumps or sores. Examples are clothing, bedding, towels, and washcloths. Ask your healthcare provider how to clean or wash these items.
- Do not have close contact with others. Do not play contact sports, such as wrestling or football. Do not have sex until the bumps are all gone. Sleep in your own bed until the bumps are gone. You can return to work or school if you keep your bumps covered.
- Keep your bumps covered. Cover the bumps with a bandage as directed. Wear clothing that covers the bandage. Cover your bumps with a watertight bandage before you swim in a pool or hot tub. You can uncover your bumps before you go to bed.
- Do not scratch, pick, or shave infected areas. This may spread the bumps to other parts of your body. It may also increase the risk of spreading the bumps to others.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.