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"This is the bane of my existence, too," said our pediatrician, as he examined my daughter's skin. "My six-year-old has it, and I can't get rid of it."
"Your daughter has it too? I never even heard of it when I was a kid," I said.
"It's become much more common - and much more recalcitrant. I don't know why."
I sighed and went home to our antibiotic cream. Two out of my three kids have had Molluscum Contagiosum (one still has it), and I'm expecting Kid #3 to get it any day now.
If you don't know what this Latinish condition is, count yourself lucky. But be forewarned - as the name implies, it's very contagious. You might even catch it from reading this post. And then you'll spread it to your kid, and it will never, ever go away.
Okay, I'm being dramatic. But just a little.
Molluscum Contagiosum, for those who don't know, is a benign skin virus which manifests itself in wart-like bumps. For some people, these bumps will be contained to a small area of skin. They'll quietly reside there for a while, then disappear.
For other people, the story plays out a bit differently. The bumps will start off quietly residing in a small area of skin, and then they'll realize they're on party grounds. They'll start sowing their oats right and left - dancing, running wild, staying up all night, even turning themselves red ("Hey, look at my rad new look," they'll screech to each other).
And they won't necessarily go away after six to twelve months, even though the Internet says they will. "The Internet lies," our pediatrician said. "It could be years."
The treatment options are limited, and general consensus seems to be to let the condition run its course – at least, as far as kids are concerned (it is, after all, a virus). Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed if it looks like an infection is brewing in one of the bumps.
I wonder why it's become so much more common among today's kids? Is it karmic payback for spoiling them? Just kidding. It is, as my pediatrician says, a mystery at this point - but if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
And if you've dealt with this plague and just want to vent, here's the place.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.