a doctor examining a patient's skin near her wrist

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

If you haven’t heard of molluscum contagiosum, you certainly aren’t alone, but it’s a fairly common skin condition that typically affects children up to the age of 10, though it can infect adults too. It’s not life-threatening, but it can be frustrating, and for people with compromised immune systems, the symptoms can be scary.

IDI offers comprehensive treatment and management strategies for people coping with acute and chronic skin conditions. If you have concerns about molluscum contagiosum, please read on.


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What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a very contagious viral infection that causes the eruption of clusters of itchy but relatively painless blisters. The virus is transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching an item contaminated by an infected person, such as a used towel or worn article of clothing. The condition is most often seen in small children.

Transmission from skin-to-skin or contaminated object-to-skin is the most likely mode of infection. However, it can also be transmitted through sexual contact, and is sometimes categorized as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

The blisters caused by molluscum contagiosum tend to be small and round, sometimes with a divot in the center (umbilication). Outbreaks occur on areas of the body that were in direct contact with an infected person or contaminated object. Scratching the eruptions can cause the infection to spread to surrounding skin and previously unaffected areas of the body.

Blisters are typically less than 5mm in diameter, though in cases where the affected individual has a compromised immune response, they can become significantly larger and more aggressive.

Complications arising from a molluscum contagiosum infection include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Bacterial infections

Diagnosis Process

Your doctor will be able to recognize the signs of molluscum contagiosum visually, though additional tests might have to be administered to check for medical issues that could exacerbate the condition or compromise treatment. Cultures and skin scrapings will likely be taken for laboratory analysis.

Treatment Options

In healthy individuals, it is sometimes advised that the infection be allowed to run its course (though over-the-counter itch management products might be recommended). It typically takes several months to a year before the outbreaks cease.

For patients with exceptionally painful blisters or other medical conditions that could lead to complications, your doctor might prescribe topical immune-stimulating creams and ointments to accelerate healing. In certain cases, blister removal might be recommended.

Molluscum contagiosum is highly contagious, and it continues to be contagious for however long the blisters remain on the skin. It is critical to be vigilant about outbreak management and self-care to avoid spreading the virus to other parts of your body and other people. At IDI, we can help you control your outbreaks, mitigate discomfort, and achieve healthy, clear skin again. If you’re struggling with the symptoms of molluscum contagiosum, please contact us to book an appointment today.


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