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Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is an infection caused by a virus. Molluscum contagiosum is a common infection in children. It is frequently seen on the face, neck, arm pit, arms, and hands but may occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles.

How does Infection occur?

Molluscum contagiosum infections results from either skin-to-skin or sexual contact with a person who is infected. Scratching or picking at the bumps can spread the virus and cause the bumps to become infected.

What are the symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?

The most common symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are: small, round, firm bumps on the skin. The bumps tend to develop on the sex organs, abdomen, or thighs. The bumps may be pink, pearly-white, or the same color as the rest of your skin in the affected area. There may be one bump or many bumps. Usually the bumps do not become painful unless they become infected. Sometimes the bumps itch a little. The infection is confined to the skin and does not cause serious problems.

Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum usually appear between 1 and 3 months after a person is infected with the virus.

How is Molluscum Contagiosum diagnosed?

Your doctor can make a diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum by examining your bumps.

How is Molluscum Contagiosum treated?

Molluscum contagiosum can be treated by freezing the individual bumps with liquid nitrogen. Freezing the bumps can cause side effects. Some of the side effects of freezing the bumps are: irritation, burning and scarring.

Individual lesions may be removed surgically, by scraping, de-coring, freezing, or through needle electrosurgery. Surgical removal of individual lesions may result in scarring.

Other treatments include medications that are used to remove warts.

If Molluscum contagiosum is not treated, the virus may persist for several months or for as long as a few years and can be transmitted to others during this time.

Complications of Molluscum Contagiosum

Some common complications of molluscum contagiosum are:

  • Persistence, spread, or recurrence of lesions
  • Secondary bacterial skin infections

Can Molluscum Contagiosum be prevented?

Yes molluscum contagiosum can be prevented. One of the best ways to prevent molluscum contagiosum is to abstain from sexual intercourse or to have intercourse with only one uninfected partner who has intercourse with only you. You can also avoid getting it by not having skin to skin contact with an infected person.

The difference between Molluscum Contagiosum and Genital Warts, and Herpes

The early symptoms of lesions on the genitalia may be mistaken for herpes or warts but, unlike herpes, these lesions are painless.

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