About six weeks ago I noticed a rash on Number 6’s arm and stomach
It wasn’t poison ivy, and it wasn’t excema — I know what those look like.
But it was odd enough and pervasive enough that I took him to the doctor.
A couple years ago Number 7 had impetigo, and that shit is contagious, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t that or at least take care of it before he gave it to everyone else.
A couple hours later as we left the doctor’s office I found myself wishing Number 6 had impetigo.
When the doctor came into the room, he asked Number 6 why he was there.
“I have a rash,” he told the doctor.
“How long have you had it for?” the doctor asked him.
“A few months,” Number 6 said.
A few months?
Surely Number 6 was confused.
I would have noticed a rash that was there for months. Right? How could he have had this for months was just noticing it now?
“I don’t think it’s been months,” I said.
“YES IT HAS, MOMMY — THE BUMPS HAVE BEEN THERE FOR A LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG TIME.” he insisted. Loudly.
The doctor took a closer look at him.
“Is is impetigo?” I asked.
“No,” said the doctor.
“Phew,” I said to him.
“It’s molluscum contagiosum,” he told me.
“FUCK,” I said to myself.
Because there is no medication you can take to get rid of it. There is no vaccine or cure.
Actually, that’s not true. There is a cure. You can go to a dermatologist who either freezes or scrapes each bump off. But those treatments are uncomfortable or even painful. Especially for kids. Plus they can discolor your skin or leave scars.
And Number 6 has quite a few of them. Like more than fifty. They are on both arms and on the right side of his stomach and chest.
This is not our first experience with molluscum.
Number 4 had it a few years ago.
Fortunately it was contained to a small area in the bend of her elbow.
Also fortunately, Number 4 has an insane tolerance for pain.
So we took her to see a dermatologist who froze that stuff right off her arm and it was gone forever the next day.
We did that because molluscum can take anywhere from six months to four years to go away, it’s contagious the whole time you have it, and unlike poison ivy, you can spread to other areas of your body by scratching it. Plus it also just look gross.
And Number 4 can handle a little pain.
Number 6, on the other hand, is the kid who is screaming in agony when you have to remove a splinter from his body. He wails, cries, and carries on with the same intensity whether he’s got a hangnail or he’s been dismembered.
So we have been trying at home remedies.
We have tried various brands of Tea Tree oil.
They all burned his skin when I put it on and resulted in hysterics.
After that I didn’t even attempt the apple cider vinegar treatment which many people swear by.
A friend told me liquid bandage worked miracles for her. Two weeks of that when her son had it and it was gone.
We tried that, but it also burned his skin when I put it on and resulted in hysterics and something along the lines of:
NEVER. TOUCH. ME AGAAAAAAAAAIIIINNNNN.
A friend gave me ZymaDerm which is a liquid that smells just like tea tree oil (it’s probably just diluted or something), and that doesn’t hurt, but you are supposed to apply it twice a day.
And to be completely honest, I barely make sure my kids brush their teeth twice a day, and the painstakingly monotonous routine of covering all those goddamn bumps every morning and every night has just been too much for me to do consistently. So who the hell knows if that works.
At this point I don’t even care anymore.
I went from a crazed lunatic constantly trying to make sure he didn’t touch anyone or share towels or washcloths (oh yeah, because you can also totally get it from someone’s dirty towel,) to no longer really giving a flying fuck.
If they all get it, they all get it.
At least a couple of them are tough enough to handle the dermatologist freezing that shit off if they need to.
The rest of them will just have to endure the bumps if they get them.
Plus, it doesn’t bother Number 6. The warts — YES THEY ARE TECHNICALLY WARTS — don’t hurt and they don’t itch.
In fact he now affectionately and protectively and punitively refers to them as “my molluscum.”
But Mommy! My molluscum! What about my molluscum?
MOMMMMMYYYYYY! SHE BUMPED INTO MY MOLLUSCUM AND NOW IT’S GOING TO POP!
*chases sister* IF YOU DON’T GIVE THAT BACK TO ME I’M GOING TO RUB MY MOLLUSCUM ALL OVER YOU.
Number 6’s molluscum has officially become our eighth child.
If you don’t want an extra wart-child for the next four months to four years, you might want to consider having a little talk with your kids about letting you know if they see any bumps on their skin that didn’t used to be there, and then maybe you can get rid of them before they multiply like rabbits all over your kid’s body.
Or you can just welcome them to the family.
Please keep voting!