Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)?

Mollusca are smooth, pearly, flesh-colored round skin growths caused by they virus molluscum contagiosa virus (MCV). They are usually 1-5mm in diameter any have a central pit. They are generally not painful but may itch and become irritated and frequent spread to nearby areas. The infection is most common in children age 1-10 years of age. MC can affect any areas of the body, but most commonly affects the trunk, arms, and legs. It is typically spread from direct contact including skin-to-skin, scratching, sexual contact, or shared items such as towels or clothes. The virus can be spread amongst children at day care or school.


What type of treatment is available MC?

Although MC may resolve in 2-3 months on its own, the lesions spread easily, may become infected, may be itchy or irritated, and are sometimes cosmetically objectionable. For these reasons, they are often removed. The treatment depends on the age of the patient and the size and location of the growths. Freezing with liquid nitrogen is one form of treatment. Another way to remove molluscum is by scraping the bump or removing the center, a treatment that is performed after numbing the area with a special cream. Sometimes other topical treatments are used that can be applied at home with varying degrees of success. All forms of treatment may cause some discomfort. New lesions may form while existing ones are being treated. Any lesions large enough to be seen will be treated. Multiple treatments are usually required.