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molluscum contagiosum cure

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What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

​Molluscum contagiosum is a relatively common skin disease caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus - a poxvirus. The result of the disease are multiple small, painless bumps in one or more areas of the body. Typical areas include one the face, arms, legs, abdomen, and in the genital area. Molluscs often bleed when scratched or picked, and often a small white substance can be removed from the bump once opened.

molluscum contagiosum

Typically, those with molluscum contagiosum have between 10-20 round, flesh-colored bumps ranging in size between 1 - 5 mm​. Mollusca are easily identified by a dimple pointing inward in the center of the bump. Those with weakened immune systems, such as those suffering from HIV/AIDs, may experience many more bumps and may have more difficulty treating them. 

Molluscum contagiosum causes almost no issues with the body and there are little complications associated with the disease. Aside from their appearance, molluscs don't cause many other problems. Rarely, some may be itchy or sore.

How does Molluscum Contagiosum Spread?

The disease is easily transferable through touch, sharing towels or clothing, and through other forms of indirect contact, hence the "contagiosum" part of the name. Though the research is inconclusive, it may also spread through other mediums such as pool and hot tub water.

​Once a person has molluscum contagiosum in one part of his or her body, it often spreads to nearby areas. For example, people with molluscs in their groin area often find that the disease spreads to their abdomens. This transmission can be accelerated through certain activities such as shaving or itching the bumps. 

molluscum contagiosum

The disease is primarily stored in the bumps on the epidermis and does not enter, or transfer through, the bloodstream. In addition, the disease is not spread through coughing, kissing, or other related events.

Treatment, Prognosis, & Long-Term Effects

​Most cases of molluscum contagiosum will clear up within a few years. Treatment may be necessary for those whose molluscs are spreading to other parts of the body or to family members, are growing rapidly, or whose molluscs are clearly apparent and are physically distracting.

For a full list of treatment options and their respective effectiveness​, check out our molluscum contagiosum treatment guide. ​With treatment, patients may be able to achieve complete clearance within a few weeks. In other cases, new molluscs may appear for 6 months or longer.

​Once cured, patients' bodies no longer store the virus like other common diseases, though people may get the disease again at some point in their lives. 

molluscum contagiosum legs

There are little to no complications associated with molluscum contagiosum. At worst, some slight skin scarring may occur from treatment - especially if it involved physically removing the molluscs or using a harsh ointment that irritates the skin.

There are little to no complications associated with molluscum contagiosum. At worst, some slight skin scarring may occur from treatment - especially if it involved physically removing the molluscs or using a harsh ointment that irritates the skin.

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