Molluscum contagiosum is a viral disease of the skin that causes small pink or skin-colored bumps on your child's skin. It is not harmful and usually does not have any other symptoms. The virus is inside the bumps and is mildly contagious. These bumps usually clear over an extended period of time.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus called the poxvirus. It is most common in children and adolescents, although it can affect adults.
The bumps are small and are usually pink or skin-colored. Eventually, the bumps tend to have a small sunken center. The number of lesions a child has is usually between two and 20. The lesions usually occur in groups or clusters. They are not harmful, but may cause some cosmetic concern for the child if they appear on the face or other visible areas.
Molluscum contagiosum is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of the child. The lesions are unique and are usually diagnosed on physical examination. Additional tests are not routinely ordered.
Specific treatment for molluscum contagiosum will be determined by your child's physician based on:
- Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
In most cases, the lesions will heal without treatment over a period of six to nine months. Additional treatment options may include:
- Removal of the lesions
- Use of topical medications (to speed resolution of the lesions)
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Last reviewed: 5/8/2011