Molluscum contagiosum is a poxvirus infection (molluscum contagiosum virus). The infection often manifests as a benign, minor skin condition with lesions (growths) that can occur anywhere on the body. Molluscum contagiosum generally cures without scarring between 6-12 months but may take up to 4 years.
Mollusca lesions are tiny, elevated, and typically white, pink, or flesh-colored hue with a dimple or pit in the middle. They frequently have a pearlescent look. Generally, they are smooth and solid. Lesions range in size from approximately a pinhead to as big as a pencil eraser in the majority of persons (2 to 5 millimeters in diameter). They may develop itching, soreness, redness, and/or swelling.
Mollusca can be seen alone or in groups on the body, including the face, neck, arms, legs, belly, and genital region. Lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet are uncommon.
The virus that causes Molluscum spreads by direct physical contact between people and via infected fomites. Inanimate items can get infected with the virus; in molluscum contagiosum, this can include linens like clothes and towels, bathing sponges, pool equipment, and toys.
Although sharing swimming pools, tubs, saunas, or other moist and warm settings may spread the virus; this has not been confirmed. Researchers who have looked at this theory believe the virus is more likely to be transferred by exchanging towels and other objects near a pool or sauna than through water.
Molluscum can be transmitted to other body regions by contacting or scratching a lesion and then touching their body in another location. Autoinoculation is the term for this. Electrolysis and shaving can potentially transfer Mollusca to other regions of the body.
Sexual contact can transmit Molluscum. Sexual intercourse is responsible for the majority, but not all, adult instances of Molluscum.
Contradictory findings cast doubt on whether the disease may be transferred via simple contact with seemingly intact lesions or if the virus must be disseminated by breaking a lesion and subsequent transfer of core material.
The molluscum contagiosum virus is contained in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and does not circulate throughout the body; hence, it cannot be transferred by coughing or sneezing.
Because the virus only lives in the epidermal layer of the skin, the virus has died after the lesions have healed and cannot be transmitted to others. Molluscum contagiosum is not like herpes viruses, which may lie latent (“sleeping”) in your body for extended periods before resurfacing.
Treatment may be avoided in healthy persons since molluscum contagiosum is self-limiting. Nonetheless, visible lesions, underlying atopic illness, and the desire to avoid transmission may motivate treatment.
Molluscum treatment is typically advised when lesions are located in the vaginal region (on or near the penis, vulva, vagina, or anus). If lesions are discovered in this area, it is prudent to consult your healthcare practitioner since you may have another sexually transmitted illness.
Cryotherapy (freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen), curettage (piercing the core and scraping away caseous or cheesy material), and laser treatment are all techniques for physically removing lesions. These are quick procedures that need a qualified health care practitioner. They may require local anesthetic and may result in post-procedural discomfort, irritation, and scarring.
Attempting to remove lesions or the fluid within lesions on your own is not a smart idea. By manually removing lesions or lesion fluid, you risk inoculating other areas of the body or transmitting it to others. You can create a bacterial infection by scratching or scraping the skin.
Let Buckeye Dermatology treat you for Molluscum and all your skin problems.