Molluscum contagiosum is a viral disease of the skin that causes small, pink or skin-colored bumps on the skin. It is not harmful and usually does not have any other symptoms. The virus is inside the bumps and is mildly contagious. These bumps usually clear over an extended period of time.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus called the poxvirus. It is most common in children and adolescents, although it can affect adults. The virus usually is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. People with weakened immune systems, young children, and people living in warm, humid climates are more susceptible to molluscum contagiosum.
The bumps are small and are usually pink or skin-colored. Eventually, the bumps tend to develop a small sunken center. The lesions can occur alone or in groups or clusters. They are not harmful, but may cause some cosmetic concern for the individual if they appear on the face or other visible areas.
Molluscum contagiosum is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination. The lesions are unique and usually are diagnosed on physical examination. Additional tests are not routinely ordered.
Specific treatment for molluscum contagiosum will be determined by your doctor based on:
In most cases, the lesions will heal without treatment over a period of six to 12 months. The virus can last up to four years and may leave scars. The best way to avoid this disease is by following good hygiene habits. For example, do not pick or scratch your skin (or someone else's). Always practice good hand washing hygiene. Additional treatment options may include:
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