Molluscum Contagiosum

Overview of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a common, contagious virus that causes small, flesh-colored skin growths. It is most common in children, but it can affect people of any age. Molluscum contagiosum is generally harmless, but it can be embarrassing. Infected skin can become irritated, itchy, and sore.

The virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or object. It can also be spread through sexual contact. The virus lives on the surface of the skin, and can be transferred through contact with towels, clothing, or other objects.

Molluscum contagiosum is not life-threatening, but it can be uncomfortable. If you or your child has molluscum contagiosum, there are treatments that can help. It is important to treat the virus to prevent it from spreading to other people or other areas of your body.

Signs and Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum

Signs and symptoms of molluscum contagiosum include:

  • Small, flesh-colored, painless bumps on the skin
  • Itchy, inflamed skin around the bumps
  • Dark spots or dots in the center of the bumps
  • Groups of bumps in the same area

The bumps may become red, swollen, and tender if infected with bacteria. Bumps may also spread to other areas of the body when scratched or irritated.

Treatments for Molluscum Contagiosum

Most cases of molluscum contagiosum do not require medical treatment, as the bumps will resolve on their own. However, some people may choose to treat the virus for cosmetic reasons or if the bumps become uncomfortable or itchy.

Treatments for molluscum contagiosum can include:

  • Prescription medications - such as creams or oral antiviral medications
  • Cryotherapy - freezing the bumps to remove them
  • Laser therapy - using a laser to remove the bumps
  • Chemical peels - using a strong chemical to remove the bumps

Prevention of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is highly contagious and can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, as well as through objects and clothing. To prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching or scratching the bumps
  • Avoid sharing towels, clothing, or other personal items
  • Practice safe sex

If you or your child has molluscum contagiosum, it is important to treat it as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading to other people or other areas of the body.