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Molluscum Contagiosum - Symptoms & Treatment


Viral infection of the skin is called Molluscum Contagiosum which affect generally child and adults.Molluscum contagiosum (MC) and warts are benign epidermal eruptions that result from viral infections of the skin. Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes raised, pearl-like papules or nodules on the skin. Molluscum contagiosum is a disease caused by a poxvirus of the Molluscipox virus genus that produces a benign self-limited papular eruption of multiple umbilicated cutaneous tumors. It may occur at any age but is typically found in children growths caused by a skin virus. They resemble pimples with a waxy, pinkish look and a small central pit

Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum is most common in school aged children and transmission is by fomites, close contact, and autoinoculation. In adults transmission is often by sexual contact and a child with molluscum in the genital area should be investigated for possible abuse. The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum. The most common symptoms are: small, round, firm bumps on the skin.

  • Pink, pearl-like spots on the face, arms and legs, which can be 1 to 5mm in diameter.
  • Small (2 - 5 millimeter diameter)
  • Dimple in center
  • Initially firm, flesh-colored, pearl-like, dome-shaped
  • Later lesions become softer, gray, and may drain
  • Central core or plug of white, cheesy or waxy material
  • Painless
  • Single or multiple (usually multiple)
  • Common locations in children: face, trunk, limbs
  • Common locations in adults: genitals, abdomen, inner thigh
  • If the infection is sexually transmitted , the molluscum can be seen on the genitals, thighs and the lower part of the stomach.

Causes of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that is a member of the poxvirus family. It is frequently seen on the face, neck, arm pit, arms, and hands but may occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles.the causes are consist the following :

  • The virus is contagious through direct contact, as seen in children, but may spread by sexual contact.
  • The lesion of molluscum begins as a small papule which may become raised up to a pearly, flesh-colored nodule.
  • MCV encodes an antioxidant protein (MC066L), selenoprotein, which functions as a scavenger of reactive oxygen metabolites and protects cells from UV or peroxide damage.
  • With continuous spreading, however, new lesions appear over time, such that the mean duration is about 8 months, with some infections lasting up to five year
  • People exposed to the molluscum virus through skin-to-skin contact have an increased risk of developing these growths. Molluscum contagiosum is a chronic infection and lesions may persist from a few months to a few years.

Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum

There are many treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum some are bellow:

  • There is no single perfect treatment for molluscum contagiosum, since we are unable to kill the virus.
  • Individual lesions can be destroyed by a blistering agent, by liquid nitrogen , or by surgical removal.
  • Sometimes new lesions will form while existing ones are being destroyed. New growths should be treated when they become large enough to be seen.
  • Molluscum lesions may become red and sore when the body tries to reject the virus. Sometimes a rash appears around the growths. These symptoms are harmless and can be safely ignored.
  • Surgical removal of individual lesions may result in scarring. Medications, such as those used to remove warts , may be helpful in removal of lesions.
  • Usually no treatment is given since the disease disappears by itself.
  • Larger and troublesome molluscum can be frozen or scraped away under local anaesthesia .
  • Antiseptic applied to the affected areas is helpful only if local infection occurs - which shows as painful red areas around the molluscum spots.
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