Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection characterized by the appearance of single or multiple bumps on the skin. It is a chronic infection. It affects mostly children. It is not a harmful condition. It is represented by the presence of a small raised papule on the skin. This papule can be painless with itching. It is caused when a person comes in contact with the skin of the affected person or contaminated objects or through sexual contact. It resolves by itself. Treatment may be required in old children and adults. Creams, gels, liquids, and cryotherapy can be used to treat this infection.
What Causes You To Have Molluscum Contagiosum?
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.
Molluscum contagiosum is a type of infection of the skin caused by molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). The virus belongs to the poxvirus family. This virus affects a person who has low immunity or suppressed immune system as seen in cases of HIV or AIDS. The virus is contagious in nature can spread to other persons through following ways-
Direct Contact-this disease can be transmitted with the skin lesion of an affected person. Children may catch the infection during normal play with affected persons. The virus exists on the surface of the skin. It is transmitted in players who have direct skin to skin contact with affected players in wrestling, baseball, etc.
Contaminated Objects-the disease can spread through direct contact with contaminated objects such as toys, towels or clothes.
Sexual Contact– sexual contact with an affected person that involves intimate physical relationship or sexual activity causes Molluscum contagiosum.
The virus can also spread to other parts of the body in the same person through rubbing or scratching or shaving the bump and then touching other parts. This viral infection can go on its own. It may take six months to one year to resolve completely. It is not clear that how much time will be taken by the infection to remain contagious.
Risk Factors For Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum can happen to any person at any age. But some people are more prone to catch such an infection. The risk factors of this infection are in following people-
- Young children who are at the age of 1 to 10 years
- People who have weak immunity due to organ transplants or cancer treatments
- People living in tropical areas
- People having atopic dermatitis that causes scales and itchy rashes
- People participating in contact sports like football or wrestling where there is direct skin to skin contact.
Symptoms Of Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum is represented by the growth of one or more small-sized, firm, raised spots in the form of papules on the skin. The papule has a small dimple in the middle. It may appear as a single growth or a cluster of growths. It is usually painless with itching. It begins as a firm dome-shaped flesh colored pimple which becomes softer with time. It looks like a white pearl. It gets inflamed or red only when it is rubbed or scratched. It turns red with passing time and gets drained by itself.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus belonging to the pox-virus family. It appears in persons at any age, especially in immune-deprived persons. It spreads to affected areas through scratching in the same person. Molluscum contagiosum can spread through direct contact with an affected person or contaminated objects or sexual contact.
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