Molluscum Contagiosum

This is a common viral infection that typically affects children and adults. Lesions appear as small pink papules with a central crater. Kids are usually affected on the trunk and extremities and in adults papules can also be seen on the pubic area and face.


Molluscum can be passed from one to another through physical contact or by touching objects contaminated with the virus, such as towels and toys or sharing mattresses. If the lesions are scratched or rubbed, they can spread to other areas of the body. In adults they can be classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). While molluscum papules go away on their own, treatment is advisable to keep the virus from spreading to others or other areas in the same individual.


The virus that causes molluscum is a member of the poxvirus family. After passing through the skin's barrier, there is an incubation period of up to one year before papules appear, therefore, new papules can develop over time despite treatment. 

 

The best treatment is curetting which is simple and virtually painless. Chemical treatments and creams are sometimes used to help reduce recurrence.

If you have molluscum, the most important thing is to keep it from spreading them to others. We advise those with molluscum to not share personal items such as clothing and towels with others and to avoid direct contact until the papules have been effectively treated. Contact sports also should be avoided until molluscum papules resolve completely.