Molluscum

MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY

What is Molluscum?

Molluscum is a skin infection that stems from a virus known as molluscum contagiosum. It produces small, painless bumps on the skin and sometimes lesions. The skin infection from this virus typically goes away on its own after a time, but it can stay around for years in some cases. Molluscum spreads quite easily through contact from person to person via touch, objects and clothing. In cases where molluscum causes a good deal of discomfort or interferes with quality of life, medical treatment may be required. 

Signs and Symptoms of Molluscum

The main sign of molluscum is the presence of a small group of bumps on the skin. They can be a single group or exist in a larger patch of lesions. These bumps are often:

  • Shiny and smooth
  • The same color as the flesh, or else white or pink
  • Firm and dome-shaped
  • Somewhere in size between a pinhead and a pencil eraser
  • Present anywhere on the body except the palms and the soles of the feet

What Causes Molluscum?

Molluscum is caused by the virus molluscum contagiosum. This virus spreads quite easily from one person to the next. Children can pass it to one another through the normal course of play by touching the same objects or one another. Teens and adults more often catch it through sexual contact, though athletes in contact sports can also contract it. Patients can also spread it across their own bodies by touching a lesion and then touching another area of the body. 

How Molluscum is Treated

In the majority of cases with patients with strong immune systems, molluscum clears on its own. In certain scenarios, however, patients may require medical intervention. If lesions are large and on the face, if a patient has an existing skin disease, or if a patient is worried about spreading the virus, a doctor can provide treatment, including:

  • Cryotherapy, in which the lesions are frozen
  • Curettage, in which a doctor scrapes the lesion off the skin
  • Laser therapy, in which lasers destroy the lesions
  • Topical therapy, in which acids and chemicals are used to chemically peel the skin

Suggested Treatment Options


All cases of molluscum are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.

Canthacur

Canthacur is a substance applied topically to the skin that works as a vesicant, causing a blister to form on a growth. Learn More

Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy

Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy works by freezing and destroying the cells in a skin growth or lesion. Learn More

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