Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection of childhood that causes localized clusters of epidermal papules. Molluscum contagiosum mainly affects infants and young children under the age of 10 years. 

Causes molluscum contagiosum

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact
  • Indirect contact via shared towels or other items
  • Auto-inoculation into another site by scratching or shaving
  • Sexual transmission in adults

Signs and symptoms of molluscum contagiosum

  • Molluscum contagiosum presents as clusters of small round papules. 
  • They often have a waxy, shiny look with a small central pit (this appearance is sometimes described as umbilicated). 
  • Each papule contains white cheesy material.
  • They mostly arise in warm moist places, such as the armpit, behind the knees, groin or genital areas.

Treatment for molluscum contagiosum

  • Cryotherapy (can leave white marks)
  • Gentle curettage or electrodessication 
  • Laser ablation
  • Wart paints containing salicylic acid

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