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  • Molluscum contagiosum

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    Molluscum contagiosum (MC), sometimes called water warts, is a viral infection of the skin that results in small, raised, pink lesions with a dimple in the center. They may occasionally be itchy or sore. They may occur singly or in groups. Any area of the skin may be affected, with abdomen, legs, arms, neck, genital area, and face being most common. Onset of the lesions is around 7 weeks after infection. It usually goes away within a year without scarring. MC is caused by a poxvirus called the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). The virus is spread either by direct contact including sexual activity or via contaminated objects such as towels. The condition can also be spread to other areas of the body by the person themselves. Risk factors include a weak immune system, atopic dermatitis, and crowded living conditions. Following one infection, it is possible to get reinfected. Diagnosis is typically based on the appearance. Prevention includes hand washing and not sharing personal items. While treatment is not necessary some may wish to have the lesions removed for cosmetic reasons or to prevent spread. Removal may occur with freezing, opening up the lesion and scraping the inside, or laser therapy. Scraping the lesion can, however, result in scarring. The medication cimetidine by mouth or podophyllotoxin cream applied to the skin may also be used. Approximately 122 million people globally were affected by molluscum contagiosum as of 2010 (1.8% of the population). It is more common in children between the ages of one and ten years old. The condition has become more common in the United States since 1966. MC is not a reason to keep a child out of school or daycare.

  • Herpes gladiatorum

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    Herpes gladiatorum is one of the most infectious of herpes-caused diseases, and is transmissible by skin-to-skin contact. The disease was first described in the 1960s in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is caused by contagious infection with human herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which more commonly causes oral herpes (cold sores). Another strain, HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes, although the strains are very similar and either can cause herpes in any location. While the disease is commonly passed through normal human contact, it is strongly associated with contact sports—outbreaks in sporting clubs being relatively common. Other names for the disease are herpes rugbiorum or "scrumpox" (after rugby football), "wrestler's herpes" or "mat pox" (after wrestling). In one of the largest outbreaks ever among high-school wrestlers at a four-week intensive training camp, HSV was identified in 60 of 175 wrestlers. Lesions were on the head in 73 percent of the wrestlers, the extremities in 42 percent, and the trunk in 28 percent. Physical symptoms sometimes recur in the skin.

  • Impetigo

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    Impetigo is a bacterial infection that involves the superficial skin. The most common presentation is yellowish crusts on the face, arms, or legs. Less commonly there may be large blisters which affect the groin or armpits. The lesions may be painful or itchy. Fever is uncommon. It is typically due to either Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. Risk factors include attending day care, crowding, poor nutrition, diabetes mellitus, contact sports, and breaks in the skin such as from mosquito bites, eczema, scabies, or herpes. With contact it can spread around or between people. Diagnosis is typically based on the symptoms and appearance. Prevention is by hand washing, avoiding people who are infected, and cleaning injuries. Treatment is typically with antibiotic creams such as mupirocin or fusidic acid. Antibiotics by mouth, such as cephalexin, may be used if large areas are affected. Antibiotic-resistant forms have been found. Impetigo affected about 140 million people (2% of the world population) in 2010. It can occur at any age, but is most common in young children. In some places the condition is also known as "school sores". Without treatment people typically get better within three weeks. Complications may include cellulitis or poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis. The name is from the Latin impetere meaning "attack".

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