Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a common harmless viral skin infection. It most often affects infants and young children but adults may also be infected. Molluscum contagiosum presents as clusters of small round bumps especially in the warm moist places such as the armpit, groin or behind the knees. They range in size from 1 to 6 mm and may be white, pink or skin colored. They often have a small central pit and the virus is easily spread by skin contact. As they resolve, they may become inflamed, crusted or scabby. There may be few or hundreds of spots on one individual. Molluscum contagiosum may persist for months or occasionally for a couple of years. It frequently induces a rash in the affected areas, which can be dry, pink and itchy. An itchy rash may sometimes appear on distant sites and represents an immune reaction to the virus.

Many dermatologists advise treating molluscum because they can spread to other parts of your body or to other people. They can be treated with a topical blistering medication called canthacur, daily home application of retinoids, topical immune modifier creams, frozen with liquid nitrogen, treated with an electric needle, or scraped off with a sharp instrument. If many lesions are present, multiple treatment sessions may be required every few weeks until growths are gone.