What is a Molluscum Contagiosum?
Molluscom Contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes small pearly or flesh‐colored bumps. The
bumps may be clear, and the center often is indented. The infection is caused by a virus, the virus is
easily spread but is not harmful. The virus commonly spreads through skin‐to‐skin contact. It is
frequently seen on the face, neck, armpit, arms, and hands but may occur anywhere on the body
except the palms and soles of hands and feet. The time from exposure to the virus until the bumps
appear usually is 2 to 7 weeks, but it can take up to 6 months.
Signs and Symptoms
- Bumps are round with a dimple in the center. They are a little smaller in size than the eraser
on the end of a pencil.
- The bumps don't cause pain and they may appear alone or in groups.
- They most often appear on the trunk, face, eyelids, or genital area.
- The virus can spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as towels, clothing, or
- The virus also spreads by sexual contact.
- Touching the bumps and then touching the skin causes the virus to spread both to other
people and other parts of the infected person’s body.
The treatment depends on the type of wart. The common treatments are abrasion, cautery with acids
- Skin abrasion: is the first step in treating molluscom contagiosum. Skin abrasion uses a small
abrasive device that easily and painlessly removes the first layer of skin to prep the lesion for
- Trichloracetic acid (TCA): For molluscom contagiosum TCA is an effective treatment because
it destroys the proteins in the viral cells. A petroleum jelly will be applied around the healthy skin
area of the wart to protect the intact skin. TCA is then applied and is a clear, watery liquid that is
painted on the warts with an applicator. The warts will turn a whitish color and shrink.
- CyroPen: This is the state‐of‐the‐art treatment modality that freezes the lesion to ‐130F. The rods are
housed in a pen which is in the Helium cooled devise come in various sizes to suit various lesion sizes.
The Cryopen rod is applied to the lesion 10 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness and
toughness of the lesion. The freezing will cause a blister which may last for 3 to 5 days before it scabs.
The scab will fall off within 2 weeks. This skin area will remain light colored for a few months and
would completely disappear, leaving no scars or discoloration.