Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum Contagiosum is a common viral infection affecting the skin. It is characterized by round, firm, painless (at times itchy) bumps ranging in size from a tiny dot to a pencil eraser. The condition is very contagious and can spread quite easily, especially if the bumps are scratched or there is open, inflamed skin. Often because of immune system activation, molluscum papules can become inflamed and appear red and swollen mimicking an infection.


  • Raised, round, flesh-colored-pink umbilicated papules.
  • Red swollen papules or pustules
  • Most common on the face, neck, trunk, armpits, arms and tops of the hands of children.
  • Considered as sexually transmitted infection on the genitals of adults.

The infection is caused by a virus that can be spread in a number of ways, including:

  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Contact with contaminated objects, such as towels.
  • Sexual contact with an affected partner.
  • Scratching or rubbing the bumps, which spreads the virus to nearby skin.

Those with weakened immune systems and other conditions, are highly susceptible to this type of viral infection.

How is Molluscum Diagnosed?
Usually by physical exam and rarely through biopsy

Treatment & Prevention
Molluscum can resolve on its own in a few months, or it can last several years. Some choose to not treat the infection and wait for it to pass, but others want a faster result. Destructive measures such as scraping, cryotherapy (freezing them off), or topical creams that create blisters to remove the molluscum are popular treatments. In addition, we may recommend the use of certain topical creams and antiviral medications. Patients are advised to take proper care of themselves, and observe proper hygiene and lifestyle practices including:

  • Washing hands regularly
  • Avoid touching or picking molluscum papules
  • Avoid sharing facial towels
  • If present on your genitals, avoid sexual contact until they are healed.

For more information on Molluscum, be sure to contact Nova Dermatology today.

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