Molluscum contagiosum is a type of skin virus that, while not dangerous, is easily transferable. The virus creates a series of skin-colored bumps on the top of the skin.
The Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum
The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are characterized by the development of these 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.
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).
Get a Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnosis Today
If you think that you may have molluscum contagiosum, it is important that you get a proper diagnosis today. At Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, PC, we are ready to meet with you. For a list of all of our offices, visit our contact us page to schedule your first appointment today.