What is molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiousum is a common skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. They are similar to wart, but are caused by a different virus called poxvirus. This virus can enter through small breaks in the skin or hair follicles and can lead to the development of the lesions. It does not affect any internal organs.
What do molluscum look like?
Molluscum is usually small, flesh-colored or pink dome-shaped growths. They may have a small indentation in the center. Molluscum is often found in clusters on the skin of the chest, abdomen, arms, groin, or buttock. They can also involve the face and eyelids. Because they can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, molluscum is usually found in areas of skin that touch each other such as the folds in the arm or in the groin. Often the molluscum may become red or inflamed. This tends to occur just before the growth is ready to go away on its own.
How do you get molluscum?
Molluscum occurs most often in cases where skin-to-skin contact is frequent. They often occur in young children, especially among siblings. Molluscum can also be sexually transmitted if growths are present in the genital area. It is also possible, but less likely to acquire the molluscum virus from non-living objects. Molluscum may be spread between children in swimming pools.
Why do some people get molluscum and others don’t?
People that are exposed more often to the molluscum virus through skin-to-skin contact, have an increased risk of developing these lesions. It is common in young children who have not yet developed immunity to the virus. Children tend to get molluscum more than adults do.