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Molluscum
Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are characterized by the development of bumps that are usually smaller than a pencil’s eraser, cause no pain, may be skin or pearl-colored, and may appear individually or in groups. In some cases, the bumps may also be red in color as a result of the body’s inflammation response or are said to look ‘waxy’ in some cases. The bumps are also dimpled in the center. They most commonly appear on the genitals, the abdomen, the inner thighs, the face, and the eyelids. The bumps can last an amount of time ranging from two weeks to six months.

Is Molluscum Contagiosum Dangerous?

Molluscum contagiosum is not dangerous – the biggest risk of the virus is a secondary infection caused by scratching. However, it does spread quickly from person-to-person with direct contact. As such, it is most common in areas where people are coming in direct contact with one another, such as a preschool or elementary class.

Children are more likely to become infected by proximity and play. Young adults and adults may become infected with the virus through sexual contact.

The virus is contagious enough that it is even possible to spread the virus from one part of your body to another from touch alone. As such, it is very important that you resist the urge to scratch or touch the bumps if they develop.

Who is Most at Risk for Catching Molluscum Contagiosum?

Because molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection, those who are young, elderly, or have compromised immune systems may be more at risk for contracting it.

  • Other risk factors include:
  • Living in a tropical climate
  • Having atopic dermatitis
  • Being a participant in contact sports
  • Treating Molluscum Contagiosum

For patients who are not suffering from a compromised immune system, like patients with HIV or cancer, medical treatment may not be necessary as the bumps will alleviate themselves within two to three weeks’ time.

What about treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum? 

If molluscum contagiosum is not going away on its own, medical intervention may be necessary. Treatment options include laser therapy, cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), topical creams and ointments, and curettage (scraping the bumps off the skin).

Dr. Greenberg takes a personalized approach to develop the best treatment plan for each patient dealing with this condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Greenberg to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenberg, please call our office directly at (941) 282-3376.