Molluscum contagiosum usually affects the face, trunk, arms, and legs of children. The genitals, abdomen, and inner thighs are common sites in adults.
Symptoms may include:
- Small, dome-shaped bumps with dimpling in center
- Itching and tenderness
- Translucent, pearly, or flesh-colored bumps that may turn gray and drain
- White or waxy substance in the center of lesion
- Multiple lesions in groups
Symptoms may last from several weeks to several years.
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Molluscum contagiosum usually goes away on its own within 6 months to 2 years without any treatment. For people with HIV infection, the lesions usually persist and spread indefinitely. Your doctor may recommend the removal of some lesions to prevent the spread of the infection or to avoid infecting others.
Lesion may be removed by one of the following:
- Cryotherapy—freezing of the lesion
- Curettage—cutting out lesion
- Laser surgery—steady or pulsed high intensity light
- Topical therapy—destruction of the lesion with a variety of chemicals
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Social Health Association http://www.ashastd.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
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Molluscum contagiosum. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/molluscum-contagiosum. Accessed May 10, 2016.
Molluscum contagiosum. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116448/Molluscum-contagiosum . Updated August 20, 2015. Accessed May 10, 2016.
Molluscum contagiosum. American Social Health Association website. Available at: http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/molluscum-contagiosum/. Accessed May 10, 2016.
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