Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin caused by MCV i.e. Molluscum contagiosum virus. This infection results in the appearance of small pink bumps and lesions on the upper layer of skin. The virus is contagious and can easily transmit from one person to the other.
Molluscum contagiosum is a painless and harmless infection in most cases that goes away on its own. In very rare circumstances it leaves scars or blemishes on the skin. The duration of viral infection varies from person to person however the bumps may take up to two to four years to fade away. In most cases, it affects children however, it can also affect adults as well.
How it is transmitted?
The skin contact from infected person is enough to spread the virus. Some other sources of viral spread include:
- Through sexual interaction in adult people.
- Sharing towel, clothes and other personal items that belongs to an infected person.
- By using Swimming pool and bathing supplies of an infected person.
- By touching the bumps or the area of infection.
- There are also chances of autoinoculation i.e. virus is transmitted from one part to other part of the body via physical contact with the lesions and then touch any other part of the body with same hand.
One of the most prominent symptoms of this viral infection is appearance of painless skin lesions. These bumps or lesions may appear singly or in a group of as many as 20. Other characteristic lesions are
- Pink, grayish, yellow or white flesh colored lesions
- Tiny and smooth
- A dimple in the center.
- Filled with waxy substance.
- The size of individual lesion is between 2 to 5 mm in diameter. Initially these are small but with the passage of time their size may increase, to as big as 15 mm in diameter
Mostly these lesions emerge on thigh, groin, buttocks and lower side of abdomen. In children these lesions usually appear on the arm, face, neck and trunk.
Itching or tenderness in the affected area is another symptom of MCV.
This viral infection is usually diagnosed during physical examination of the bump or lesion. In order to analyze and confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may collect a sample from lesion to further examine it under an electron microscope in order to differentiate the normal cells with the infected ones.
Usually Molluscum contagiosum go away on its own without any treatment but sometimes they need to be removed and eradicated physically through surgery or with chemicals like silver nitrate, phenol, cantharidin, iodine etc. in order to avoid autoinoculation and spreading of virus.
Some other treatments for removing Molluscum contagiosum are cryotherapy, laser therapy, topical therapy or curettage.
- Cryotherapy is done by freezing the bump with liquid nitrogen.
- Curettage involves in piercing the lesion and scrapping it from infected area by using a tool.
- Laser therapy involves using electromagnetic rays to obliterate the bump.
- Topical therapy is done by applying different creams, chemicals or acids on the lesions. It helps in removing the upper layers of skin where virus is present.
Sometimes more than one session is required to treat these bumps until they completely vanish or disappears.
Link between Molluscum contagiosum and HIV:
If your immune system is weak due to HIV virus then immediate treatment of Molluscum contagiosum becomes necessary. The HIV infected peoples experience adverse symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum virus. Severe breakouts may appear on HIV positive patient’s skin in case of viral infection.
- Try to avoid sexual or physical contact with the person who is suffering from Molluscum contagiosum.
- Avoid using shared personal items like towels, shaving razors clothes or hair brush.
- Develop the habit of hand washing.
- Avoid touching bumps if you are suffering from Molluscum contagiosum virus. Wash hands immediately if you accidentally touch your bump.
- Try to avoid various sex partners. And use condoms.