How Long Does Molluscum Contagiosum Last?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection seen in children. It is marked by characteristic symptoms that are a single or multiple small firm raised bumps on the skin. It affects the face, trunk, limbs except for palms and soles. It mostly affects people who are low in immunity or suppressed immunity. It is diagnosed by its appearance, skin biopsy and other tests. It settles down on its own in a few months to one year. It can be treated by medicated gels, liquids, gels or minor surgery like electrosurgery, freezing etc.

How Long Does Molluscum Contagiosum Last?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin. It is a chronic infection that develops on face, trunk, extremities, and abdomen except on palms and soles. The infection is usually painless. It usually goes by itself without treatment. It may last up to 6 months to one year if a person has healthy immune system.

The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are-

  • Single or many small, firm and raised bumps on the skin
  • The affected sites are face, trunk, limbs or anywhere on the skin except palms and soles
  • There is a dent or dimple in the center of the bump
  • The bump is of size with 2 to 5 mm like that of a pin, eraser on the top of a pencil
  • The bump is filled with waxy material in the center.
  • The bumps are commonly seen on the face.

The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum can disappear on its own if the immune system of the affected person is healthy and strong. It may last up to 6 months to one year without leaving a scar. Treatment is not required in many cases until it affects the quality of life. In some cases, the bumps formed on the skin can take few months to years to disappear completely.

The infection may remain for a long period in cases where the patient has a compromised immune system. This is seen in the patients of HIV or AIDS or who are subjected to cancer treatment.

The infection of molluscum virus is not contagious when the lesions fade up. That means it cannot spread to other parts of the body or to other persons.

The bumps develop only the infection is present. The infection can appear again when the person is again exposed to the virus. The body never develops immunity against this virus.

Diagnosis Of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is diagnosed by its characteristic appearance of the lesion. It is confirmed with a skin biopsy, microscopic study of a small piece of skin removed from affected areas. If other health issues are suspected such as HIV or STI, then they should be confirmed with related tests.

Treatment For Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum resolves by itself in a few months to one year if the immune system of an affected person is healthy and strong. In some cases, it may spread to other places before going away. Treatment is not really needed in certain cases in children.

In older children and adults in which it affects the quality of life, treatment is done by following ways-

Application of medicated gels, creams or liquids directly on the affected areas.

The lesions can be treated with minor surgical procedures such as freezing, scraping, decoring or needle electrosurgery. It may leave scars on the operated areas. Molluscum contagiosum is a common infection of the skin caused by a virus named molluscum contagiosum. This virus is a member of the poxvirus family. It appears singly or in groups in the form of white papules on the skin. Molluscum contagiosum is most common in children. However, it can appear at any age. It develops in the face, trunk, and extremities in children. In adults, it appears on genitals, abdomen and inner side of thighs. It is a harmless condition. It can spread to other parts of the skin.

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