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 disappeared.
- Cover the bumps. Use a watertight bandage to cover your bumps if there's a possibility that another person may come in contact with infected skin. To keep your skin healthy, uncover it when you won't come in contact with other people.
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.
March 21, 2015
- Molluscum (Molluscum contagiosum): Frequently asked questions for everyone. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/faq/everyone.htm. Accessed Jan. 14, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=331. Accessed Jan. 11, 2015.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015. 54th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookID=1019. Accessed Jan. 11, 2015.
- Isaacs SN. Molluscum contagiosum. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 11, 2015.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.