PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
To help prevent the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean can help prevent spreading the virus.
- Avoid touching the bumps. Shaving over the infected areas also can spread the virus.
- Don't share personal items. This includes clothing, towels, hairbrushes or other personal items. Refrain from borrowing these items from others as well.
- Avoid sexual contact. If you have molluscum contagiosum on or near your genitals, don't have sex until the bumps are treated and have completely resolved.
- Cover the bumps. Use a bandage to cover your bumps if there's a possibility that another person may come in contact with infected skin.
Swimming pool precautions
It's not clear if the molluscum contagiosum virus can spread in the chlorinated water found in swimming pools. Experts suspect that it's more likely that swimmers transmit the virus through shared use of towels; equipment, such as kickboards; or direct skin contact. To help prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum, cover the bumps with watertight bandages before swimming and don't share towels, water toys or kickboards.
- Molluscum contagiosum. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch122/ch122b.html?qt=molluscum%20contagiosum&alt=sh. Accessed Nov. 28, 2009.
- Wynnis T, et al. Molluscipoxvirus infection: Molluscum contagiosum. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2008.
- Aziz N, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases in pregnancy. In: Klausner JD, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2007.
- An overview of molluscum contagiosum. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/overview.htm. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.
- Clinical information: Molluscum contagiosum. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/clinical_overview.htm. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.
- Recommendations: Patients with molluscum contagiosum and swimming pool safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/swimming/swimming_recommendations.htm. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.
- Scheinfeld N. Treatment of molluscum contagiosum: A brief review and discussion of a case successfully treated with adapelene. Dermatology Online Journal. 2007;13:15. http://dermatology.cdlib.org/133/case_reports/molluscum/scheinfeld.html. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.