Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a common infection of the skin, caused by a virus. It can affect all ages but is more commonly seen in children and young adults. It appears as small dome-shaped bumps that may clear on their own or may spread, increase in number, itch, and cause a rash.


  • Causes: Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a member of the poxvirus family. It is harmless but contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, scratching or rubbing the infected skin, or contact with a wet surface harboring the virus. Thus, molluscum contagiosum may be sexually transmitted, but it’s certainly not the only way of getting this infection.


  • Symptoms:Once becoming infected with the virus, those who are not immune will begin to experience symptoms after two to eight weeks. The most obvious symptom is the small, pearl-like bumps that appear on the surface of the skin, called papules. These bumps usually have a dimple or dent in the middle of them. The bumps are dome-like in shape and usually flesh-colored when symptoms are first sighted. After a while, they may turn red in color and drain a white, waxy substance. While rarely described as painful, these bumps may be sore and itchy to some extent. On occasion, a papule may become large, inflamed, and appear infected, but then resolve itself spontaneously.


  • Diagnosis: Due to their relatively distinct appearance, a dermatologist can diagnose molluscum contagiosum in many cases just from looking at the skin bumps. If there’s any doubt, a biopsy can be performed to confirm the diagnosis. While molluscum contagiosum may be clear to the dermatologist most of the time, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to the average person. Something more dangerous could be causing your skin bumps. Don’t avoid getting a diagnose from a certified dermatologist.


  • Treatment: After several months, molluscum contagiosum can resolve itself without treatment, but most people seek treatment due to the infectious nature of the lesions that can spread to family, friends, and the public. Treatment by your dermatologists depends upon the number and location of the lesions and the age of the patient. Treatments may include topical retinoids, antivirals, imiquimod, catheradin, liquid nitrogen, cautery, or scraping the lesion. Treatment requires patience, as it is common for new lesions to appear as treated lesions resolve.

Why Choose Zel for Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Many people eventually develop an immunity to the virus, but those who are immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to contracting the virus and experiencing a widespread infection and skin rash. Thus, even harmless skin rashes shouldn’t be ignored.

Contact us to schedule an appointment or virtual visit today.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.