Molluscum Contagiosum – What is it, Causes and Treatments!

Molluscum Contagiosum – What it is, Causes and Treatments of this condition. Also, Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus. The virus, called Molluscum contagiosum virus, produces benign raised lesions, or bumps, on the upper layers of your skin . The small bumps are usually painless. They go away on their own and rarely leave scars when left untreated.

The length of time the virus lasts varies for each person, but the bumps can last anywhere from two months to four years.

Molluscum contagiosum is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s wound or by contact with a contaminated object, such as a towel or piece of clothing . Medication and surgical treatments are available, but treatment is not necessary in most cases. The virus can be more difficult to treat if you have a weakened immune system.

Causes of Molluscum Contagiosum: You can get Molluscum Contagiosum by touching the skin lesions of an infected person. Children can get the virus during normal play with other children. Teenagers and adults are more likely to become infected through sexual contact. You can also get infected during contact sports that involve touching bare skin , such as wrestling or football.

The virus can survive on surfaces that have been touched by the skin of an infected person. Therefore, it is possible to contract the virus by handling towels, clothes, toys or other items that have been contaminated. Sharing sports equipment that someone’s bare skin touches your skin can also cause the transfer of this virus. The virus can be left on the equipment and passed on to the next person. This includes items like baseball gloves, wrestling mats and football helmets.

If you have this condition, you can spread the infection throughout your body. You can transfer the virus from one part of your body to another by touching, scratching or scraping a bump and then touching another part of your body.

Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum: If you or your child comes into contact with the  Molluscum Contagiosum virus . You may not see symptoms of an infection for up to six months. The average incubation period is between two and seven weeks. You may notice the appearance of a small group of painless lesions. These bumps may or may not appear on their own. They are usually:

  • Very small, shiny and smooth;
  • Flesh color, white or pink;
  • Firm and shaped like a dome with a tooth or dimple in the middle;
  • Filled with a central core of waxy material;
  • Between 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter, or between the size of a pin head and the size of an eraser on top of a pencil;
  • Present anywhere except on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet;
  • Present on the face, abdomen, trunk, arms and legs;
  • Present in the inner thigh, genitals or abdomen in adults.

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

Molluscum Contagiosum Risk Factors: Anyone can get Molluscum Contagiosum , but certain groups of people are more likely to get infected than others. These groups include:

  • Children between the ages of 1 and 10 years;
  • People who live in tropical climates;
  • People with weakened immune systems caused by factors such as HIV, organ transplants or cancer treatments ;
  • People who have atopic dermatitis, which is a common form of eczema that causes itchy, scaly rashes.
  • People who participate in contact sports, such as wrestling or football, where skin-to- skin contact is common.

Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnoses: Because the skin bumps caused by Molluscum Contagiosum have a distinctive appearance, your doctor can usually diagnose the infection simply by looking at the affected area. A skin scraping or biopsy can confirm the diagnosis.

It is usually unnecessary to treat Molluscum Contagiosum , but you should always go to your doctor so he can examine skin lesions that last longer than a few days. A confirmed diagnosis of Molluscum Contagiosum will rule out other causes of the lesions, such as skin cancer , chickenpox, or warts.

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatments: In most cases, if you have a healthy immune system, it will not be necessary to treat injuries caused by Molluscum Contagiosum . The bumps will go away without medical intervention. However, some circumstances may justify the need for treatment. You may be a candidate for treatment if:

  • His lesions are large and are located on his face and neck;
  • You have an existing skin condition , such as atopic dermatitis.
  • You have serious concerns about spreading the virus.

The most effective treatments for molluscum contagiosum are performed by a doctor and include the following:

  • During cryotherapy, your doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze each bump.
  • During curettage, your doctor uses a small tool to puncture the bump and scrape the skin .
  • During laser therapy, your doctor uses a laser to destroy each bump.
  • During topical therapy, your doctor applies creams that contain acids or chemicals to the bumps to induce peeling of the upper layers of the skin .

In some cases, these techniques can be painful and cause scarring . Anesthesia may also be necessary.

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Podophyllotoxin topical cream, such as Condylox
  • Cantharidine (Cantharone), which is obtained from the beetle and applied by your doctor
  • Imiquimod (Aldara)

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding, tell your doctor about your condition before taking these or other medicines. If your immune system is weakened by diseases such as HIV or drugs such as those used to treat cancer , you may need to treat molluscum contagiosum. Successful treatment is more difficult for people with weakened immune systems than for those with normal immune systems.

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