Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection that primarily affects children, although it can also occur in adults. It is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), which is a member of the poxvirus family.

Key points


Molluscum contagiosum spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or by touching contaminated objects. It can also spread through sexual contact in adults.


Molluscum contagiosum is contagious, and the bumps can spread to other parts of the body or to other individuals through scratching or close contact. It is important to avoid picking or scratching the lesions to minimize the risk of spreading.


The infection typically presents as small, raised, dome-shaped bumps on the skin. These bumps may have a dimple or central indentation and are usually flesh-colored, pink, or pearly. They can occur anywhere on the body but are commonly found on the face, neck, armpits, arms, and hands.


In many cases, molluscum contagiosum resolves on its own without treatment within 6 to 12 months. However, it can persist for a longer duration, sometimes up to several years, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems.


Treatment may be recommended to prevent the spread of the infection, alleviate symptoms, and reduce the duration of the infection. Common treatment options include:

The lesions can be removed by a healthcare professional using techniques such as cryotherapy (freezing), curettage (scraping), or laser therapy.

In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend immune-boosting therapies to help the body fight the viral infection.

Certain medications, such as topical creams or ointments containing chemicals like imiquimod or retinoids, may be prescribed to help eliminate the lesions.

It is important to consult a pediatric dermatologist or healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options for molluscum contagiosum. They can evaluate the individual case and provide personalized recommendations based on the child’s age, overall health, and severity of the infection.