How to Prevent Molluscum Contagiosum | Tips for Preventing Infection and Transmission
When it comes to dealing with viral infections, the most important step (outside of appropriate treatments) is prevention. Whether you wish to prevent contracting a virus or prevent passing along the virus to others, preventative steps are imperative. The role of prevention for molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) is strikingly similar as any other contagious skin disease. Because of the highly contagious nature of MCV, it's imperative to spend time researching the most effective ways to stop transmission. The following preventative measures are considered to be powerful when it comes to stopping the spread of molluscum contagiosum.
Molluscum Contagiosum | The Most Effective Preventative Measures to Hinder Viral Transmission
The steps necessary to prevent transmission of molluscum contagiosum are relatively universal when it comes to stopping the spread of any skin-born virus. As a general rule of thumb, the most powerful preventative measure is simply being mindful of what you touch and who touches you. When you or a loved one has an active infection, the greatest way to stop the spread of the virus is to inhibit skin-to-skin contact.
Tip #1 | Isolate Objects from Others
Because molluscum contagiosum can be spread through inanimate objects, such as towels, bedding, clothing and toys, it's imperative to isolate personal items away from others. Make sure to clean all objects with a disinfecting spray to kill the virus. Since MCV can infect multiple areas around your body, disinfecting household objects is imperative to prevent spreading the virus throughout your own body. Always wash towels, sheets and clothing after they come in contact with a MCV lesion.
Tip #2 | Avoid Skin-to-Skin Contact
The most common transmission method is via skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, when you
or someone else has an active infection, it's important to avoid skin-to-skin contact. This may mean avoiding hugging, shaking hands or rubbing up against others. Because molluscum can be transmitted during sexual activity, avoid sexual contact until the infection is eliminated.
Tip #3 | Cover Growths with Bandages
For many, avoiding physical contact from others is a near impossibility. Because of this, one of the most effective preventative steps is to cover all MCV growths with a waterproof bandage when going out in public. Before leaving your home or before coming in contact with others, place a waterproof bandage over each growth. This is perhaps the greatest way of controlling the spread of the virus. However, it's imperative to allow the skin to breath. Therefore, before going to bed or when you're relaxing alone, remove the bandages so the skin has access to fresh air.
Tip #4 | Do Not Share Towels
Many infections are spread not through physical contact between persons, but by contact with an contaminated object, such as towels. Therefore, it's imperative to never share towels with a person who has an active infection or never allow another person to use your towel should you be infected. Because it's possible to spread MCV to other portions of your body, only use a towel once before throwing it in the washing machine. While this may seem wasteful, it's an essential step to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus.
Tip #5 | Avoid Shaving Active Infections
Although MCV may infect almost every portion of your body as it targets keratinocyte cells, which make up roughly 95 percent of skin cells within the outermost layer of skin, the most common infection sites include the face, neck, arms and thighs. Not only are many of these areas highly visible, but they're also commonly shaved by men and women. If you were to shave over a growth and release its fluid, the likelihood of intensifying the infection is significantly increased. Therefore, never shave near or on lesions until the virus has been eradicated.
Tip #6 | Waterproof Bandages When Swimming
Although the full extent of water transmission is currently unknown to researchers, evidence does suggest it's possible to transmit the virus through water. Therefore, before you go swimming in a communal pool or spend time in a wet sauna, cover all active lesions with waterproof bandages. To further ensure the spread of the virus is under control, do not share pool toys or towels. Always place a towel on benches or chairs to prevent accidental transmission.
Tip #7 | Thoroughly Wash Hands
Perhaps the greatest prevention method is also one of the easiest. Because it's possible to spread molluscum contagiosum to other parts of your own body, it's essential to wash hands after touching a lesion. The most effective hand washing technique involves wetting your hands before placing an antibacterial soap in the palm of one hand. Vigorously rub your hands together and thoroughly scrub all surfaces for 15 to 20 seconds. Thoroughly rinse your hands to remove soap and dry with a clean towel. Repeat as often as necessary to prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum.