What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes pinpoint lesions on the skin. These lesions can persist anywhere from a few months to several years. These lesions are common in children, people who are sexually active and people with weakened immune systems.
What Causes Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that is part of the pox virus family. This virus is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. If the lesions are scratched or injured they can easily spread.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?
Signs and symptoms of molluscum contagiosum include:
- Initially appear as small, firm, dome-shaped, 2-5mm and flesh-colored lesions on the skin with indentations in the middle
- Lesions may become softer and may turn red in color over time
- Common locations include face, limbs, trunk, genitals and inner thighs
- Generally painless but can itch
How Is Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnosed and Treated?
Most lesions are diagnosed by a health care provider looking at the warts. Sometimes a skin biopsy of the lesion may be warranted.
People with normal immune systems with molluscum contagiosum do not require treatment and they can disappear on their own. However, lesions can be removed by topical medication that is used at home and requires a prescription often used for warts. Lesions may require scraping or freezing for removal.
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