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