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Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum: Introduction

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin rash caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus, a virus of the poxvirus family. Molluscum contagiosum is easily spread through close or intimate contact with an infected person.

Molluscum contagiosum is a common rash in childhood. In adults, it is often spread during sexual contact and is considered a sexually transmitted disease. It can also be spread by using objects, such as towels, that are contaminated with the virus.

The molluscum contagiosum rash appears as small waxy, flesh colored, nodules on the skin. They eventually become white and may drain a white, waxy substance. The rash can appear on the abdomen, trunk, and/or arms. If transmitted sexually, the rash is generally found on the abdomen, thighs and genitals. Symptoms include itching, and scratching the rash can spread the virus to other parts of the body. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of molluscum contagiosum.

Making a diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnosis is tentatively made on recognition of the typical appearance of the rash.

A skin biopsy may be done to confirm a diagnosis. A skin biopsy involves taking a sample from one of the rash nodules and looking at it under a microscope to check for the presence of the virus that causes molluscum contagiosum.

It is possible that a diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum can be missed or delayed because the rash may be mild and ignored. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of molluscum contagiosum.

Treatment of molluscum contagiosum includes certain procedures and preventing its spread. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of molluscum contagiosum. ...more »

Molluscum contagiosum: This common viral infection most often affects young children, who pass it to each other through saliva. In adults, however, the virus is ... more about Molluscum contagiosum.

Molluscum contagiosum: Common wart-causing virus. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Molluscum contagiosum is available below.

Molluscum contagiosum: Symptoms

Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum include the appearance of a rash that consists of small waxy, flesh colored, nodules on the skin. They eventually become white and may drain a white, waxy substance. The nodules can also become red, inflamed and may itch.

The rash can appear almost anywhere, including the hands, face, neck abdomen, trunk, and/or ...more symptoms »

Molluscum contagiosum: Treatments

The first step in treating the appearance and spread of molluscum contagiosum is prevention. Preventive measures include frequent hand washing and not sharing personal items, such as towels and clothing. It is important to keeps the nodules of the rash covered with a bandage until they have completely healed to prevent the spread of the virus onto objects, such ...more treatments »

Molluscum contagiosum: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum may be delayed because the rash or nodules may be mild and ignored or assumed to be a minor allergic rash. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum

Treatments for Molluscum contagiosum

  • Watchful waiting - most cases gradually resolve without treatment.
  • Pricking the lumps
  • Freezing the lumps
  • Avoid scratching to minimise spread
  • Watchful waiting - most cases gradually resolve without treatment
  • more treatments...»

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Causes of Molluscum contagiosum

Read more about causes of Molluscum contagiosum.

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Molluscum contagiosum: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Molluscum contagiosum

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Article Excerpts about Molluscum contagiosum

This common viral infection most often affects young children, who pass it to each other through saliva. In adults, however, the virus is transmitted sexually, resulting in lesions on the genitals, lower abdomen, buttocks, or inner thighs. Most people with the infection do not have noticeable symptoms, although sometimes the lesions, which are painless wart-like bumps, may itch or become irritated. The lesions often heal without treatment, although physicians may sometimes scrape them off or treat them with chemical irritants. (Source: excerpt from Other Important STDS, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Definitions of Molluscum contagiosum:

A common, benign, usually self-limited viral infection of the skin and occasionally the conjunctivae by a poxvirus (MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM VIRUS). (Dorland, 27th ed) - (Source - Diseases Database)

A virus disease of the skin marked by round white swellings; transmitted from person to person (most often in children or in adults with impaired immune function) - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

 

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