A Short Note on Molluscum Contagiosum

Journal of Infectious Diseases andMedicine

ISSN: 2576-1420

Open Access

Mini Review - (2021) Volume 6, Issue 3

A Short Note on Molluscum Contagiosum

Mohammad Jimma*
*Correspondence: Mohammad Jimma, Department of Internal Medicine, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada, Email:
Department of Internal Medicine, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada


Molluscum contagiosum is also called as water warts. It is a viral infection of the skin which results in raised small pink lesions with a dimple in the center .They are itchy or sore, and occurs as single or in groups. The skin may be affected at any area, with abdomen, legs, arms, neck, genital area, and face. These lesions last around seven weeks after infection usually get away within a year without scarring [1].

Molluscum contagiosum infection is caused by a virus, poxvirus called the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). This virus spread either by direct contact (including sexual activity), or via contaminated objects like towels [2]. This infection also spread to other areas of the body by the person themselves. Risk factor includes atopic dermatitis, weak immune system, and crowded living conditions [3].

These virus lesions are flesh-coloured, dome-shaped, and pearly in appearance. They are 1–5 mm in diameter. Molluscum lesions are found on the face, arms, armpits, legs, and torso in children. Adults have molluscum lesions at genital area of the body and this is considered as sexually transmitted infection. If lesions are found at genital areas on a child, sexual abuse should be suspected. These virus lesions are not painful, but they may cause itching or become irritated. Picking or scratching the bumps lead to spread of the viral infection which is responsible for molluscum contagiosum, an additional bacterial infection, and scarring [4]. Eczema may develop around the lesions about 10% of the cases.

Diagnosis is based on the appearance of the lesions. The diagnosis can be confirmed by excisional biopsy [5].

For minor cases, over-the-counter wart medicines like salicylic acid shorten the duration of the infection. Topical applications of tretinoin cream daily also trigger resolution of the infection. The oral medication cimetidine or podophyllotoxin cream can be applied on the skins, which are used in the treatment.

Removal of virus lesions includes laser therapy, freezing, or opening up the lesion, inside scraping, immunotherapy. Surgical treatments include cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the lesions and them, as well as scraping them off with a curette. Application of liquid nitrogen causes burning sensation or stinging at the treated site, which persist for few minutes after the treatment. In 2014 a systematic review of case reports and case series concluded that the available data suggests that pulsed dye laser therapy is a safe method and effective treatment for molluscum contagiosum and well tolerated by children. Side effects are seen [6]. Prevention of this viral infection includes washing hand regularly and does not share personal items with others.


1. Ramdass, P, Mullick, S, and Farber, HF. "Viral Skin Diseases". Primary Care 42(2015):517–567.

2. Chen, X, Anstey, AV, and Bugert, JJ. "Molluscum contagiosum virus infection". Lancet Infectious Diseases 13(2013):877–888.

3. Weller, Richard, O'Callaghan, Chris J, MacSween, Ruth M, and White Marion I. "Scarring in molluscum contagiosum: comparison of physical expression and phenol ablation". BMJ 319(1999):1540.

4. Basta-Juzbaši─?, Aleksandra, and ─?eovi─?, Romana. "Chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale, genital herpes simplex infection, and molluscum contagiosum". Clin Dermatol 32(2014):290–298.

5. Tyring Stephen K. "Molluscum contagiosum: the importance of early diagnosis and treatment". Am J Obstet Gynecol 189(2003):S12–16.

6. Griffith, Robert D., Yazdani Abyaneh, Mohammad-Ali, Falto-Aizpurua, Leyre, and Nouri, Keyvan. "Pulsed dye laser therapy for molluscum contagiosum: a systematic review". J Drugs Dermatol 13(2014):1349–1352


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