what is molluscum contagiosum?

Molluscum is a skin infection caused by the virus Molluscum contagiosum. It produces benign raised bumps, or lesions, on the upper layers of your skin.

The small bumps are usually painless. They disappear on their own and rarely leave scars when they’re left untreated. The length of time the virus lasts varies for each person, but the bumps can remain from two months to four years.

Molluscum contagiosum is spread by direct contact with someone who has it or by touching an object contaminated with the virus, such as a towel or a piece of clothing.

Medication and treatments are available, but treatment isn’t necessary in most cases.


what are the symptoms of molluscum contagiosum?

If you or your child comes into contact with the virus, you may not see symptoms of infection for up to six months. You may notice the appearance of a small group of painless lesions. These bumps can appear alone or in a patch of as many as 20. They’re usually:

  • Small, shiny, and smooth
  • Flesh-colored, white, or pink
  • Firm and dome shaped with a dent or dimple in the middle
  • Filled with a central core of waxy material
  • Between 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter
  • Present on the face, abdomen, torso, arms, and legs of children, or the inner thigh, genitals, and abdomen of adults

However, if you have a weakened immune system, you may have symptoms that are more significant. Lesions may be as large as 15 millimeters in diameter, which is about the size of a dime. The bumps appear more often on the face and are typically resistant to treatment.

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