Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that affects the skin. It is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) and is highly contagious.
This virus can be transmitted from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or through contact with contaminated objects such as towels or clothing.
In this article, we will discuss the causes and treatment of molluscum contagiosum.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a poxvirus known as the molluscum contagiosum virus. This virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, sexual contact, or by sharing contaminated objects such as towels or clothing.
The virus can also spread through scratching or picking at the lesions.
The virus can affect anyone, but it is more common in children, especially those who have atopic dermatitis or a weakened immune system. It can also affect adults, especially those who are sexually active.
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The most common symptom of molluscum contagiosum is the appearance of small, raised, round or oval-shaped bumps on the skin.
These bumps are usually painless and may be flesh-colored, pink, or white. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the face, neck, arms, and hands.
In some cases, the bumps may be accompanied by itching or inflammation. Scratching or picking at the lesions can cause them to spread or become infected.
In most cases, the molluscum contagiosum infection will go away on its own without any treatment. However, it can take several months or even years for the lesions to disappear.
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Treatment options are available for those who want to speed up the healing process or reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Topical medications – Over-the-counter medications such as salicylic acid or imiquimod cream can be applied directly to the lesions to help them go away faster. Prescription-strength medications such as cantharidin, tretinoin, or podophyllotoxin may also be used.
- Freezing or scraping the lesions – Cryotherapy or curettage can be used to remove the lesions. These procedures should only be performed by a medical professional.
- Laser therapy – Laser therapy can be used to remove the lesions without damaging the surrounding skin.
- Immune therapy – For people with weakened immune systems, immune therapy may be used to help the body fight off the virus. This may involve the use of topical medications or injections.
The best way to prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum is to avoid contact with infected individuals and contaminated objects.
If you or your child has the virus, avoid scratching or picking at the lesions, as this can cause them to spread. Wash your hands frequently and keep the affected area clean and dry.
In conclusion, molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that is highly contagious and can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing contaminated objects.
While the virus will usually go away on its own without treatment, there are several treatment options available to speed up the healing process or reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
To prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum, avoid contact with infected individuals and contaminated objects and practice good hygiene. If you suspect that you or your child has molluscum contagiosum, speak to your healthcare provider for guidance.
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