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Skin Infection in Children

— Impetigo and Scabies

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a pox virus and involves the outer layer of the skin, causing tiny
white bumps. The centre of the bumps may have a depression filled with while material. Molluscum
contagiosum is contagious and can be transmitted to other areas of the skin or to other children. It can
spread via skin to skin contact and sharing of clothes and towels. It is advisable to avoid swimming if
your child has molluscum. Infants and toddlers are more susceptible to catching molluscum. Usually,
it causes no harm.

Your doctor may try to treat the molluscum by pricking, freezing or applying a medicated cream
(like imiquimod) to the surface. Left untreated, molluscum may last 2-3 years. It clears when immunity to
the virus develops.

Viral Warts

Warts are growths on your skin caused by an infection with human papilloma virus, or HPV.
Types of warts include:

Common warts, which often appear on your fingers, toes and on the knees
Plantar warts, which show up on the soles of your feet
Genital warts, which are a sexually transmitted disease
Flat warts are skin-coloured and can appear in any area of the body
Periungual warts prefer to grow at the sides or under the nails and can distort nail growth

Warts are contagious and may spread from one area of the body to another or to others.
There is no way to prevent warts.

In children, warts often go away on their own. In adults, they tend to stay. If they hurt or bother you,
or if they multiply, you can remove them.


Many people don't bother to treat them because treatment can be more uncomfortable and troublesome than the warts - they are hardly ever a serious problem. However, warts may be
painful and they often look ugly and cause embarrassment.



Cryotherapy is the most common treatment for warts. The wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen repeatedly,
at one to three week intervals. This is uncomfortable for a few minutes and may result in blistering for
several days.

Chemical treatment

Chemical treatment includes salicylic acid, 5-fluorouracil and imiquimod which work by removing the dead surface skin cells.



Electrosurgery is used for particularly large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthetic, the growth
is pared away and the base burned by diathermy or cautery. The wound heals in about two weeks.

Laser treatment

Large warts can also be treated by CO2 laser. This can result in a wound which can take about 2 weeks to heal.


Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It develops if the bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus
or Streptococcus, gets into the skin. Impetigo is more common when the skin has a poor immune
function or if the immune system is impaired. It is occurs more commonly in children with eczema. It can
appear as painful blisters , sores or yellow crust.


Impetigo can be treated with oral antibiotics. See your doctor and complete the course of antibiotics. Children should not share towels with others and they should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

As impetigo can spread to others, affected children should be kept away from school until their lesions have recovered.


Candidiasis is a skin infection caused by a fungus. It affects the body folds like the diaper area where
the skin is moist and warm. It appears as red areas with small blisters.


For infants wearing diapers, frequent changes are recommended and try to keep the area dry. Your doctor
will prescribe an anti-fungal cream and use it 2-3 times a day until the rash clears.



Scabies is a skin infection caused by the scabies mites. It presents as red bumps and can cause itch particularly on the hands, skin folds, abdomen and genitalia. It is transmitted from humans and often occurs within families especially when there is close contact.


Your doctor will prescribe a lotion which get rid of the mites. All family members who have been in close contact with the affected child should also be treated. Repeat treatment 1 week later may be needed and it is important to have a follow up visit with your doctor to confirm that the treatment had been successful.



Common Child Conditions

Atopic Eczema in Children
Childhood Birthmarks
Insect Bite Reactions
Skin Infections in Children

Dr Lynn Chiam of Children and Adult Skin Clinic in Singapore treat CHILDREN SKIN INFECTIONS such as Molluscum Contagiosum, VIral Warts, Cyrtotherapy, Electrosurgery, Impetigo, Candidiasis and Scabies


































Commom Adult Conditions

Acne Vulgaris
Eczema/ Dermatitis
Skin Cancers
Adult Hair Loss
Common Acquired Facial Pigmentation
Viral Warts

Mt Elizabeth Novena Specialist Medical Centre 38 Irrawaddy Road #07-22  Singapore 329563
Tel: (65) 6570 2303    Fax: (65) 6570 2302    Email:

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