Physical exercise and participation in team or competitive sports can have many benefits for youths and adults alike, such as:
- Improving physical health, enhancing fitness, controlling weight, and reducing the risk of certain diseases like breast cancer and osteoporosis
- Boosting confidence and self-esteem
- Learning teamwork and respect for others
- Achieving academic skillsets by emphasizing memorization and repetition
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Patients in Arlington, Stafford, and nearby VA communities should also take cautionary and preventive measures when engaging in sporting activities to avoid common hazards such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Especially in hot, humid environments, including public showers, swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and even gymnasiums, individuals may be susceptible to conditions such as athlete’s foot and molluscum contagiosum.
Molluscum contagiosum, a viral infection of the skin, can be a chronic and uncomfortable condition, lasting for a few months to a few years. The infection is characterized by the appearance of one or several pearl-colored papules on the skin. As the name implies, the virus, associated with pox, is contagious and is commonly spread through direct contact, including skin to skin or through sharing sports equipment, towels, or clothing. Scratching or rubbing can also spread the virus.
When a child has papules on the skin of the face, limbs, or trunk, molluscum contagiosum can be determined if the bumps have the following characteristics:
- Itching, but without pain
- Dimpling in the center
- Size of two to five millimeters in diameter
- Form as solid, skin-colored domes which eventually soften
- Contain a white, waxy substance
- Disappear suddenly over a few months to years
A medical dermatologist can diagnose and confirm molluscum contagiosum through a skin biopsy. Treatment, if necessary, may involve scraping or freezing the lesions and using topical prescription medication.
To prevent viruses and fungal or bacterial infections, individuals should avoid contact with others who have the condition and refrain from sharing sports equipment or towels. Children with eczema should receive medical treatment because eczema can lead to molluscum contagiosum.
More information about molluscum contagiosum can be obtained by contacting the professional dermatology team at Washington Dermatology Consultants at 571-431-6175.