- Causative agent of molluscum contagiosum and infection mechanics
- Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum
- Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum
- Molluscum contagiosum: treatment
- Prevention of rash spread and re-infection with molluscum contagiosum
- Folk methods to accelerate the degeneration of molluscum contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum (molluscum contagiosum) is one of the viral diseases that do not pose a threat to the health and life of the sick, but nevertheless need attention and treatment. The main discomfort caused by a contagious shellfish is moral, since the external manifestations of the disease are visually unpleasant: pink-orange nodules, reaching up to 1.5 cm in size with a small whitish core. Their photo is on the right. Most often, molluscum contagiosum does not require active treatment, disappearing on its own after a few weeks or months, but it is necessary to know the precautions that prevent the disease from winning over vast areas of the skin. In addition, visually mollusks are similar to many other, more complex and dangerous diseases. Syphilis , for example, has similar mollusk symptoms. To establish the exact nature of the appeared skin rashes and to provide assistance, if it is required, only a specialist can.
Causative agent of molluscum contagiosum and infection mechanics
Not a relation to the inhabitants of the sea, despite the name, molluscum contagiosum has not. It received its name solely for its shape, with a strong increase, it really resembles a snail shell.
The disease belongs to the category of viral, respectively, the mechanics of infection - contact. Only a person can become a carrier and a patient; the animals are 100% immune to the disease. By its nature, a contagious mollusk resembles a smallpox virus, and is also transmitted only by contact when it enters the area of fluid contained within a hollow formation on the skin. Unfortunately, in order to become a carrier of such a parasite, it is not even necessary to come into contact with an already sick person: the virus is quite tenacious and able to retain its activity in water, therefore, cases of infection through the basin’s water are not uncommon.
The disease most often affects children, since during active games, close contact with damage to the skin is normal. An inaccurately damaged ball on the skin, from which the inner contents of the curd mass emerged, may not even attract attention, since the pain sensations are not bright. At the same time, the penetration of the extruded liquid onto the skin of another child causes damage to his body, and after the incubation period, similar “nodules” will appear on his skin. Further spread of the mollusk over the skin, as a rule, occurs when uncontrolled combing of the affected area.
Outbreaks of diseases by contagious shellfish within the collective of a particular kindergarten are associated with the ability of the virus to remain active outside the human body for a long time, for example, in household dust. With high-quality cleaning of the room and the observance of personal hygiene measures such cases are practically excluded, as well as infection in such a way of healthy adults. The risk group for this type of spread of the disease consists of children under the age of five years, less often older people.
The principle of the spread of contagious mollusk in adults is most often sexual, and the differences in the localization of the mollusk papules are also associated with this. In adults, these are intimate areas: the hips, perineum, lower abdomen, and even the external genitalia; in children, the mollusk often affects the face, arms, neck, shoulders, and abdomen. The number of skin elements and the density of localization are often directly related to the state of immunity: people who do not have health problems rarely suffer from this disease, most often and the number of mollusks is not large and they disappear without outside medical intervention.
Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum
Medicine divides molluscum contagious viruses into four main types, but their external clinical manifestations for a person familiar with the subtleties of a person do not have significant differences. MCV-1, MCV-2, MCV-3, MCV-4 are the main types of viruses, while MCV-1 and MCV-2 affect, as a rule, adults, the rest is more susceptible to the child population. Externally, the mollusk looks like initially small skin nodules, gradually forming into a volume cavity, reaching 1.5 cm in size with a liquid center, in which the white curd mass, the actual habitat of the virus, can be discerned. Their photo is presented right. The incubation period, which can last from 2-3 weeks to an unlimited time, is absolutely asymptomatic. The active stage can be triggered by lowering the immunity of the human carrier.
The mollusk cannot affect the internal organs, its habitat is exclusively the external surface of the skin. Shellfish are also not formed on the skin of the palms and feet.
The first stage of development of mollusk papules:
- the appearance on the skin of dome-shaped rigid seals-nodules from 1 mm in diameter;
- the formation of a core of a waxy-chewy consistency, visually manifested by a change in color from a homogeneous solid to a watery one with a white droplet in the center;
- papules increase in size up to one and a half centimeters.
Subsequently, the mollusk bubbles darken in color, acquiring a bright pink color, and begin to disturb the patient with a slight itch.
The mechanics of the mollusk formations have been studied extensively with a microscope. The blotch of virus that enters the cell body of the basal tissue of the epithelium gradually fills it with its own medium, dislodging the native nucleus and expanding over time.
Fully formed education in its form are divided into two types. In the first case, the core of the pathological focus has a rounded shape, this type is called gigantic. In the second case, called the pedicle of the mollusk, the cells are located on a small foot. The number of such formations, which are considered to be one group, most often from one to ten, in rare forms, they can unite in one plane, containing several cores.
The mollusk, like many viruses, is able to live in the body in a latent form for a long time. The weakening of the immune system, concurrent diseases can provoke its development and external clinical manifestations. The need for treatment is determined by the dermatologist in each case individually, since most often the mollusk will disappear without medical intervention. Assistance is required for immunocompromised persons, in particular, HIV patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and for long-term severe chronic diseases. In such cases, the body is unable to resist the development of the virus and its spread is not restrained. In other cases, treatment is prescribed only to prevent recurrent manifestations, to which this disease is prone, even after complete external extinction.
Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum
Diagnosis of this disease requires laboratory tests only to clarify and confirm the type of mollusk or to diagnose with other more serious infections. A preliminary diagnosis is made after a visual examination based on the specific clinical picture of the disease. Histological examination with an electron microscope, which is designed to confirm the presence of mollusc bodies in the sample, is carried out not only for the symptoms of this disease, but also for other skin lesions, in order to exclude the possibility of imposing diseases. Often mollusk ovoid bodies are found in the study of warts and suspected erysipelas or lichen planus . Differential research is designed to identify all types of concurrent diseases for the selection of the optimal method of treatment and exclusion of drugs that can, when exposed to one type of bacteria, provoke the development of other pathological organisms.
Histological analysis confirming the presence in the epithelial cells of the epidermis the presence of mollusk bodies, is considered essential for the formulation of the final and only correct diagnosis. A PCR analysis can also be performed - a diagnostic laboratory method aimed at detecting and determining the activity of viral pathogens by the method of polymerase chain reaction.
Molluscum contagiosum: treatment
The confirmed diagnosis that the pathological formations on the skin are caused by a molluscum contagiosum, and not by other types of pathogens, and are not tumorous, most often the reason to stop worrying about health. In almost all cases, if we are not talking about a person with a positive HIV status, this means that serious treatment is not required and the body itself will suppress the virus in a few months without outside help. The difficulty is only the fact that the appearance of the mollusk causes inconvenience. Because of their convex shape, they are prone to injury even without significant effort, so doctors still recommend removing the formation from exposed parts of the body to avoid damage.
There is no specific medical treatment for the mollusk, since it cannot get into the internal organs and changes in the state of the organism as a whole are not required to get rid of it.
The main methods of getting rid of molluscum contagiosum are:
- mechanical method;
- cauterization or cryosurgery;
- treatment with immunomodulators or antiviral drugs;
- antibiotic therapy for multiple and large colonies.
Selection of the method in a particular case depends on the location and abundance of lesions, as well as the recurrence of the manifestation of the disease. With the frequent occurrence of the problem, the methods will include more extensive techniques, including therapy, aimed at strengthening the immunity of the patient as a whole.
A mechanical or physical method of removing a mollusk is based on plucking the body of the mollusk with tweezers. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, for example, using lidocaine. After mechanical removal of mollusks, the treated surface is necessarily cauterized. Iodine is used from painful remedies; for children, a dermatologist will most likely choose sparing agents: hydrogen peroxide or fucorcin. They will also serve as prevention of further spread of the disease from the residual liquid, which as a result of the procedure can get into the adjacent areas of the skin.
As a rule, one procedure is not enough; mollusks appear again, albeit in smaller quantities. This is due to a long incubation period. Those “formations” that at the time of the first operation were not visible with the naked eye “grow”. With the quality of the procedure in place of remote mollusks new ones are not formed.
After mechanical removal during the week it is recommended to disinfect the surface by drying areas of treatment with iodine or brilliant green. When the last outbreak dies out, the virus is considered destroyed, although such destruction does not give immunity to the body, repeated external infection is also possible.
Low-temperature method of mollusk removal or cryodestruction is the most effective and painless method. Depending on the equipment of the clinic, liquid nitrogen is distributed to the formation of a cotton swab or using a special pulverizer. The procedure takes several minutes, and it takes 10-15 seconds to process one formation to completely freeze it. In this case, the patient does not experience any pain. The cryodestruction method makes it possible to remove even fairly fresh formations, the removal of which by mechanical scraping or tweaking is almost impossible. The subsequent measures for processing the areas where the mollusk was located coincide with the previous method.
The diathermocoagulation method or electrolysis is designed for splitting the mollusk body with a high frequency current. This method is also practically painless and the period of restoration of the skin surface after such treatment is faster, since open hemorrhage does not occur.
Antiviral ointments, for example oxolinic, do not give a quick result, but for the treatment of babies who are more traumatic procedures may be intimidated, they are a priority. The ointment blocks the core of the mollusk inside the papule, preventing it from reaching adjacent areas of skin and further spreading.
To enhance immunity, immunomodulators can be prescribed (for example, IRS-19, epigen-intim). It is important to remember that during the sexual way of infection examination and treatment of the sexual partner is carried out without fail.
Prevention of rash spread and re-infection with molluscum contagiosum
The difficulty of getting rid of this disease is related to the structure of its original source: just like all types of pathogens that contain DNA in their structure, the molluscum contagiosum does not completely leave the body. All therapeutic measures are aimed only at getting rid of its external manifestations, while preventive measures ensure that it is impossible to spread from one local area to other parts of the body and eliminate the risk of infection from other carriers.
To prevent the mollusk from spreading over the surface of the skin, it is only necessary to observe basic hygiene measures. They are relevant as with the appearance of the mollusk and waiting for the time of its independent degeneration, and for the period of treatment. Careful treatment of the child’s toys with a disinfectant solution, timely cutting of nails and daily change of bed linen will help eliminate the source of infection. Frequent wet cleaning of the premises is also required to eliminate clam particles along with dust. Underwear, which can serve as a source of re-infection, before each shift must be carefully treated with an iron or steamer.
For adults, the localization of mollusks in which, as a rule, is concentrated in the genital area, frequent change of underwear is relevant.
If there is one patient in the family, it is first necessary to prevent infection of the rest of the family members. To do this, it is necessary to limit the use of one set of hygiene supplies: washcloths, towels and soap. When using common things, such as TV remotes or other appliances or bathroom fixtures, they need daily treatment with a disinfectant solution.
For the entire period of treatment, baths and visits to the pool are strictly contraindicated. Water is the optimal environment for the distribution of the mollusk, capable of maintaining its viability for a long time. One patient can be a source of outbreaks. Hygienic procedures, which, naturally, cannot be completely stopped, are recommended to be carried out under running water of the shower, and not when immersed in a bath.
Folk methods to accelerate the degeneration of molluscum contagiosum
To dry the skin, which contributes to the early disappearance of the pathological foci formed by mollusk, I use several means:
- a solution of potassium permanganate to wipe the affected areas;
- infusion of celandine (both alcohol and water);
- tincture series or bird cherry;
- gruel of fresh ground leaves of bird cherry as a compress;
- garlic juice (used as a home cautery method).
Garlic-based recipes, generally popular with infectious and viral diseases, often contain only two ingredients: any vegetable oil and a crushed clove of garlic. Daily application of the obtained slurry to the affected area burns the mollusc in 3-4 weeks. The procedure is best done in the evening, as an unpleasant smell can cause a negative reaction from others.
Using liquid cleansers, it should be remembered that movements with a cotton swab over the skin should be adjoining, not rubbing, since in the latter case there is a risk of the virus spreading to neighboring areas. If the affected area is extensive, tampons should be changed several times, preventing its contamination.
An important factor that accelerates the extinction of the mollusk and reduces the risk of relapse, is to increase immunity. The patient is recommended an increase in vitamins in the diet, tempering procedures and hypothermia and excessive exercise are contraindicated.
Using folk remedies, even tested and recommended by several sources, it should be remembered that the first stage of treatment must necessarily be to contact a dermatologist for confirmation of the diagnosis. Self-treatment in case of erroneous self-diagnosis can lead to exacerbation of inflammatory processes and irreversible consequences for the body.
В целом лечение контагиозного моллюска продолжается 2-3 месяца, в течение которых требуется контроль за пораженными областями и повышенные меры предосторожности. По истечении этого срока, если моллюск не дает о себе знать повторно, можно вернуться к обычному ритму жизни.
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