Thursday, 15 December 2011


What is molluscum contagiosum ?

It is a viral infection of skin and occasionally of mucous membranes  that is caused by a DNA poxvirus called molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV).  There are 4 types of MCV, MCV-1, MCV-2, MCV-3 & MCV-4.  MCV-2 is most commonly seen in adults. MCV has higher incidence in children, sexually active adults and those who are immunodeficient.
Mostly seen in children of 1-10 years of age.

Parts of the body affected.

It can affect any area of the skin but the most common sites are- trunk, arms and legs. face is also affected in many cases.

How does the virus spread ?

Commonly through skin to skin contact, direct contact or shared items such as clothing and towels.

Communicable period-

It is contagious until the bumps are gone, which if untreated may last upto 6 months or longer.

 Incubation period-

2-7 weeks.

Symptoms .

Molluscum contagiosum lesions are flesh-colored, dome-shaped, and pearly in appearance. They are often 1–5 millimeters in diameter, with a dimpled center. They are generally not painful, but they may itch or become irritated. Picking or scratching the bumps may lead to further infection or scarring. In about 10% of the cases, eczema develops around the lesions.


Complications of molluscum contagiosum include irritation, inflammation, and secondary infections. Lesions on eyelids may be associated with follicular or papillary conjunctivitis. Bacterial superinfection may occur but is seldom of clinical significance.
Cellulitis is an unusual complication of molluscum contagiosum in patients who are HIV infected. Secondary infection with Staphylococcus aureus has resulted in abscess formation, whereas Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause necrotizing cellulitis.


Individual molluscum lesions may go away on their own and are reported as lasting generally from 6 to 8 weeks, to 2 or 3 months. However via autoinoculation, the disease may propagate and so an outbreak generally lasts longer with mean durations variously reported as 8 months, to about 18 months,and with a range of durations from 6 months to 5 years.

Most importantly the treatment includes- ( just a brief view of names of therapies used )

  • Cryotherapy.
  • Application of astringents such as potassium hydrochloride and cantharidin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide.
  • Tea tree oil 

Systemic treatments.
  • Cimetidine
  • Griseofulvin
  • Methisazone.

Surgical- cryosurgery
Laser-  pulse dye laser therapy.

These treatments are only to be taken under medical supervision, because the drugs as well as surgical or laser treatment vary for individuals and the severity of the disease. So, instead of trying things on your own one should always consult a doctor for proper treatment.