TAMPA, Fla. — Molluscum is a viral skin infection doctors say is very difficult to get rid of, and some parents think their kids are getting it from their face masks.
“It’s a type of virus that kind of causes similar to a wort in children. It can happen to adults as well, it’s just very common in children,” said Dr. Meredith Plant, USF Associate Professor of Pediatrics.
Experts say molluscum typically looks a little bit pearly or like a raised area, sometimes resembling a rash.
“It’s very common to have many everywhere, and it can definitely stick around for a very long time,” said Plant.
Plant says she hasn’t seen a recent increase in cases but that it is something doctors see often and spreads easily.
“A child has molluscum on their shoulder, and they scratch the area, and if they touch another child, they touch another area on their body, and it will tend to spread that way,” said Plant.
Some parents tell ABC Action News they think their kids are getting it from their face masks.
While that’s not the most common way molluscum spreads, Plant says it is possible.
If you think your child may have molluscum, tell them not to touch it.
Plant recommends using a bandage to cover it if possible, especially if it’s on the face near your child’s face mask to provide a barrier.
“I found that for my house, we usually have to wash the masks about once a day. Just kids are kids. They talk, they sneeze, they wipe their nose in their mask. So, keeping it clean in general it will help lots of things, and it will help maybe reduce some of those kinds of virus transmissions.”
Experts say it’s also important to take your child to see their pediatrician for other treatment options.