Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection resulting in small, harmless skin growths, which may resemble pimples at first. Later, when the spots enlarge, they may have a waxy, pinkish look with a small central pit. Occasionally an individual may be covered with numerous lesions.

Molluscum contagiosum can be spread from person to person (especially children) by direct skin contact. It is harmless. It rarely leaves any scars.

Usually the lesions disappear within 9-12 months, rarely lasting longer than two years.

There is no single perfect treatment of molluscum contagiosum. In many cases no specific treatment is necessary.

Your doctor may destroy individual lesions by:

  • Minor surgery or curettage (topical anaesthetic cream may be applied first)
  • Freezing
Sometimes new lesions will form while existing ones are being destroyed. New growths can be treated when they become large enough to be seen.

Molluscum lesions may become red and sore when the body tries to reject the virus; this is harmless and can be ignored.

Further information

This article published on
08 February 2006

Next review date 2/1/2013


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