Molluscum contagiosum is a wart-type growth caused by a pox virus that only affects skin. Molluscum look like small, shiny, pink bumps, that sometimes have a central indentation. Usually molluscum can be identified by appearance. Molluscum can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, and are most commonly seen in children and athletes involved in contact sports. Molluscum may also be transmitted through sexual contact. Once a person is infected, molluscum can further spread by rubbing or scratching of the lesions. It is also possible to get infected with the virus by touching something that was touched by an infected person’s skin. Examples include gymnasium mats or a swimming pools.
Molluscum may resolve without treatment. However, most dermatologists treat molluscum to avoid spread to other parts of the body or to other people. Different types of treatment for molluscum include liquid nitrogen, topical solutions, scraping the growths off, or using various prescription creams.