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Definition of Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum: A contagious disease of the skin marked by the occurrence of rounded soft tumors of the skin caused by the growth of a virus (one that belongs to the virus family called the Poxviridae).

The disease is characterized by the appearance of a few to numerous small, pearly, umbilicated downgrowths called molluscum bodies or condyloma subcutaneum.

Molluscum contagiosum is mainly seen in children. In teenagers and adults it is often transmitted sexually and so may be considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is a benign disorder that usually clears up by itself.

The Latin "molluscus" means soft.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11440
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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