What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin rash caused by a virus of the same name. These are usually painless lesions that resemble larger rashes, by appearing in patches of 13 – 20 bumps. If contracted the average incubation time for the virus ranges between 2 – 3 weeks, after which signs will begin to show.

It usually occurs in children, but can be contracted by adults as well. However, they tend to be painless and generally do not leave scars if untreated. However if it is left untreated, the virus may show signs for any timespan from two weeks to 6 months. Which is why a treatment is recommended regardless of severity.

What Are The Symptoms Of Molluscum Contagiosum?
When an individual is infected by this particular virus, rash like symptoms will be observed.

  • Tiny, benign, raised bumps.
  • Small flesh colored dome shaped growths 2 – 4 mm in size.
  • Can appear on all parts of the body except palms and soles.
  • Seen specifically on arms, legs, face, thighs, genitals and abdomen.

In the case you have a weaker immune system, this condition is far more difficult to treat.

  • Lesions may be larger.
  • They may appear on the face and may be resistant to most available treatments.

What Are The Causes Of Molluscum Contagiosum?
The main cause is the Virus Molluscum Contagiosum. As the name suggests it is highly contagious and can spread directly through contact.  It can be spread by direct contact with someone who has contracted it, or by touching an object which has been contaminated by it (e.g Clothing, toys, utensils,etc). This virus tends to stay on any sort of object for quite a long time, so it is difficult to ensure 100% safety.

Some risk factors include:

  • Children Aged 1 – 10.
  • Individuals residing in tropical climates (India is an example of one such location).
  • Individuals with weak immune systems can contract this to an irreversible degree as well.
  • People with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema and ectopic dermatitis are more susceptible to contracting it.

Diagnosis
Molluscum Contagiosum is very distinct to look at. The trained eye of a Dermatologist will be able to determine whether or not an individual has contracted the virus, just by looking at the affected area. In rare cases your dermatologist may request you to get a biopsy or skin scraping done, to eliminate any false positives and false negatives to smoothen the process of treatment.

Though treatment is usually unnecessary, it is highly recommended that you get it diagnosed by a dermatologist to eliminate infection to others and avoid suspecting the presence of other skin conditions. A confirmed diagnosis of Molluscum Contagiosum  can help in ruling out conditions such as skin cancer, chickenpox, warts and herpes.

Treatment
Treatment is only recommended for individuals with a weak immune system, since people with healthier immune systems do not require rapid and strong treatment. However, the treatment will be recommended by your doctor if:

  • Bumps and Rash is on the neck, face or around the mouth.
  • If you have persistent skin diseases or have had a history of skin diseases.

Treatment Methods are painless and entirely safe, these include:

  • Curettage: Skin scraping after piercing the affected area.
  • Cryotherapy: The bumps are frozen with liquid nitrogen and then pull it off the skin.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser device is focused on the affected area, the bumps are then heated and removed.
  • Topical Application Therapy: Various Strong creams may be applied that contain acids and virus destroying chemicals to induce the peeling of the bumpy layer of skin.
  • Some cases may employ anaesthesia, depending on the severity.

Post Therapy medication may be topical or ingestible, this will be prescribed by your doctor as per the severity of the condition and the after effects of the treatment.

If you have a discerning skin condition as such, do contact us for more information on our treatment services and if you reside in Bangalore, Dr. Divya Sharma’s Skin and Hair Solutions may be just the right place for your consultation.

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Frequently asked questions

We now have an FAQ list that we hope will help you answer some of the more common ones.

1. Which age group is mostly infected and how?

It can be found in infants to adults. Mostly it is transmitted by direct skin to skin contact or by using commonly shared items. People suffering from eczema are especially prone to these viral infections.

3. How can they be treated?

  1. Curettage- or simple needling to remove HP bodies from the lesions is helpful
  2. Cryotherapy
  3. Topical retinoid can be applied topically. It can be used in case of very small lesions or in certain age groups where the irritant activity of the compound is utilized.

2. Is it contagious?

It easily spreads from person to person and can be transmitted by fomites.

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