Molluscum contagiosum (mo-LUS-kum kun-tay-jee-OH-sum) is a relatively common viral infection of the skin that results in round, firm, painless bumps ranging in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser. If the bumps are scratched or injured, the infection can spread to surrounding skin.
Though most common in children, molluscum contagiosum can affect adults as well — particularly those with weakened immune systems. In adults, molluscum contagiosum involving the genitals is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Molluscum contagiosum spreads through direct person-to-person contact and through contact with contaminated objects. The bumps associated with molluscum contagiosum usually disappear within a year without treatment but doctor-assisted removal is also an option.
Apr. 03, 2012
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- An overview of molluscum contagiosum. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/molluscum/overview.htm. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.
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- Scheinfeld N. Treatment of molluscum contagiosum: A brief review and discussion of a case successfully treated with adapelene. Dermatology Online Journal. 2007;13:15. http://dermatology.cdlib.org/133/case_reports/molluscum/scheinfeld.html. Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.
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