Molluscum Contagiosum

Find Relief for this Common Viral Infection in Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and the Main Line

Adults and children with molluscum contagiosum in Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and the Philadelphia area can receive the most advanced treatments from the experienced team of dermatologists at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute. This commonly occurring viral skin infection presents as flesh-colored bumps with a white center that may resemble clusters of warts.

Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute provides advanced techniques for treating viral skin infections including molluscum contagiosum. To schedule an appointment, Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us.

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What Causes Molluscum Contagiosum?

Poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum virus) infection is the cause of this dermatological condition. Poxvirus spreads via direct physical contact with an infected person or contact with contaminated objects such as linens, clothing and towels, bathing sponges, and pool equipment and toys. Scratching and rubbing the skin can cause molluscum contagiosum to spread to the surrounding skin.

What Are the Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?

Signs and symptoms associated with this infection include multiple small, flesh-colored bumps with a white center on the top layer of skin. These bumps are typically raised and round and no larger than a quarter of an inch in diameter. On occasion, they can grow to a larger size. If they become inflamed, the surrounding skin will appear red. Molluscum contagiosum can also itch.

Bumps commonly appear on the face, neck, armpits, arms, and tops of the hands. When the virus is sexually transmitted, they most commonly occur on the lower abdomen, genitals, buttocks, and inner upper thighs of adults.

Patients should refrain from scratching the infected area, as doing so can cause them to spread and become infected. A thick white core is expressed when a bump is physically opened.

What Are the Risk Factors for Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum occur more frequently in children than adults. However, adults with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of becoming infected. Atopic dermatitis, a skin condition with compromised skin barrier function, predisposes to infection as well. People who spend time in warm, humid environments (swimming pool) and live in crowded conditions have the highest risk of developing this disease.

Treatment Options for Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a mild condition that typically resolves on its own without scars within six to 18 months. However, bumps can spread over a wider area of skin during the months it takes for it to go away. People with weakened immune systems or adults and children who dislike the appearance of them should seek treatment.

There are three main options available for treatment: topical and oral therapies and minor surgical procedures. Patients should never attempt to open them, as the likelihood of the infection spreading to other areas of the skin or to other people is much higher.

Despite applying prescription creams, lotions, and ointments containing retinoids, podophyllotoxin, imiquimod, and benzoyl peroxide to the bumps, it may take weeks or months for the condition to improve.

Cryotherapy and curettage are minimally invasive treatments also used to treat them.

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How Can You Prevent Molluscum Contagiosum?

Individuals can reduce the spread of molluscum contagiosum by keeping their hands clean, not touching infected areas on the skin, refraining from sharing personal items with others, avoiding sexual contact if they have the infection and covering up the affected skin areas with clothing to reduce the chance of skin-to-skin contact with others.

Get advice, diagnosis, and treatment for skin infections like molluscum contagiosum in the Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia area. To schedule an appointment, Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us.

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