Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Nili N. Alai, MD, FAAD
Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Molluscum contagiosum facts
- What is molluscum contagiosum? What causes molluscum contagiosum?
- Who develops molluscum contagiosum?
- What are molluscum contagiosum symptoms and signs?
- How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I treat the accompanying rash with molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I treat the persistent skin discoloration after molluscum contagiosum?
- Why do I keep getting more molluscum bumps where I shave?
- What are possible complications of molluscum contagiosum?
- What is the prognosis with molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I prevent molluscum contagiosum?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
Molluscum contagiosum facts
- Molluscum contagiosum is a very common, contagious, benign skin disorder caused by poxvirus.
- Molluscum contagiosum is often seen in otherwise healthy people and commonly affects children and sexually active adults.
- It is typically found on the trunk arms, and legs and looks like scattered, small, smooth tan or pink bumps.
- Molluscum contagiosum is easily curable in most cases and may clear on its own without treatment.
- Multiple treatments and ongoing maintenance therapy may be necessary.
- Molluscum contagiosum is often treated with freezing with liquid nitrogen.
- Molluscum contagiosum is prevented with optimal skin hygiene.
What is molluscum contagiosum? What causes molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disorder caused by a superficial skin infection with the poxvirus. It is not caused by bacteria, yeasts, or fungi. Diet does not seem to affect molluscum contagiosum. Molluscum contagiosum appears as multiple, scattered, small tan or pink little bumps on any part of the skin, including the neck, trunk, arms, legs, buttocks, and face. Although possible, it is extremely rare to have it all over the body in a healthy individual with a normal immune system. Molluscum contagiosum most characteristically involves just one or two body areas at a time, like the chest, back, or legs. Other common locations include the face, neck, eyelids, thighs, genitals, and buttocks. It generally spares the palms and soles.
Skin infected with molluscum contagiosum may have some dilation of the small superficial blood vessels and inflammation, thereby giving the bumps a red or flushed appearance. More males are affected than females. Most people have no other symptoms, but itching can occur. The molluscum virus does not affect internal organs or enter the bloodstream.
Molluscum contagiosum can be spread from one body part to another. As the name implies, molluscum contagiosum is very contagious and easily transmitted from person to person via skin contact or sharing razors or towels, public swimming pools, wrestling mats, shared bathtubs, or hot tubs. Molluscum contagiosum can be cosmetically displeasing, but it is otherwise medically harmless in normal individuals. Molluscum contagiosum typically resolves over a period of months without any treatment. Molluscum contagiosum is generally treated with common wart remedies like liquid nitrogen (freezing) or burning (cautery).
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