Molluscum contagiosum is a skin condition caused by a poxvirus. It manifests as small, raised, wart-like bumps on the skin, which can range in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser. The bumps are usually painless and have a dimpled center.
This skin condition is highly contagious and can be spread through close skin-to-skin contact or by sharing contaminated objects such as towels or clothing. It is especially common in children but can affect people of any age. It is also more prevalent in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS.
Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum is typically made based on a physical examination of the skin. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
There are several treatments available to help clear up the infection. Some of the most common treatments include topical creams, cryotherapy (freezing the bumps off with liquid nitrogen), and surgical removal. In some cases, the infection may clear up on its own without treatment, but this can take several months or even years.
It is important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum. This includes washing your hands frequently and avoiding close skin-to-skin contact with infected individuals. It is also important to avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, and clothing.
In short, molluscum contagiosum is a common, highly contagious skin condition with multiple options for treatment. By practicing good hygiene and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, you can help prevent the spread of the virus. If you suspect you may have molluscum contagiosum, we would love to have you at Elect Dermatology to be seen by a board certified dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.