Last Updated on February 24, 2021 by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT
How do you get Molluscum Contagiosum/How can you get Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Contagiosum Causes:
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that is a member of the poxvirus family.
The virus may be sexually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact (does not have to be mucous membranes) and/or lesions. Transmission through sexual contact is the most common form of transmission for adults.
Molluscum contagiosum may be transmitted from inanimate objects such as towels and clothing that come in contact with the lesions and has been associated with swimming pools and sharing baths with a person who has it.
Molluscum contagiosum also may be transmitted by autoinoculation, such as touching a lesion and touching another part of the body.
How to tell if you have Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Symptoms:
Molluscum infection causes small white, pink, or flesh-colored bumps or growths with a dimple or pit in the center. The skin lesion commonly has a central core or plug of white, cheesy, or waxy material.
The bumps are usually smooth and firm and can appear anywhere on the body. In adults, the lesions are commonly seen on the genitals, abdomen, and inner thigh.
They may become sore, red, and swollen but are usually painless.
How to know if you have Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Tests:
Diagnosis is based on the appearance of the lesion and can be confirmed by a skin biopsy. The health care provider might examine the lesion to rule out other disorders and to determine other underlying disorders.
Relief spells (Rolaids?!) Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment:
A health care provider can remove the small growths with chemicals, with an electrical current, or by freezing them. Or you can use a prescription medicine that can be applied at home.
Some people choose not to have the growths treated because molluscum can go away on its own. But left untreated, it takes an average of up to two years for all of the growths to go away. And during that time, there is a risk of spreading the virus to other parts of your body or to other people.
What’s going to happen to me?!!?! Molluscum Contagiosum Expectations:
The bumps normally disappear within 6 months to 2 years without treatment and without leaving scars, however, during that time, there is a risk of spreading the virus to other parts of your body or to other people.
Things to be aware of… Molluscum Complications:
In people with weakened immune systems, molluscum growths may grow very large, spread more easily to other parts of the body and may be harder to cure.
Secondary bacterial skin infections should also be monitored and excessive scratching can lead to scarring.
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