Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum is a common skin infection caused by a virus that affects the top layers of the skin. They are usually small, flesh- to pink-colored dome-shaped growths that often have a small indentation in the centre. They can often become red or inflamed. These usually occur in clusters especially around folds in the arms, legs, chest, abdomen and buttocks, and can even involve the face and eyelids. They are particularly common in young children, especially among siblings. Molluscum can also be sexually transmitted if present in the genital area.

Molluscum Contagiosum is benign and generally self-limiting. Any one lesion may appear for about two months, but some growths may develop as others resolve. It may take anywhere between six months up to five years for all molluscum to go away.

 

How to Treat Molluscum?

Although molluscum will eventually go away on its own without treatment, treatment is advised because the growths are easily spread from one area to another or to close contacts. The common goal of treatment is to destroy the molluscum. Your doctor will discuss the pros and cons of different treatments in determining which is the most suitable for you or your child.

  • Imiquimod 5% cream
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Cryotherapy (freezing) with liquid nitrogen
  • Curettage (scraping off with a sharp instrument) and application of iodine
  • Electrocautery
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