Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that can appear as small papules and may grow into raised nodules on the skin that can appear pearl-like or flesh-colored. Treatments are available from Dr. DeEtta Gray at Pinnacle Dermatology in Bellevue where she will will diagnose your skin in a skin exam and may confirm the virus in a biopsy.
Molluscum Contagiosum is a member of the poxyvirus family and normally has no redness or inflammation but can spread into lines of groups (crops) that can get irritated if scratched. For many people the virus goes away in a few months to two years; however for those with immune deficiencies such as HIV or AIDS the virus may persist and they may have worse symptoms.
You can get the virus in a variety of ways. It can spread through objects such as towels or toys. It is a common infection in children. It can also be spread through sexual contact in adults. Many may think Molluscum Contagiosum is herpes but unlike herpes the lesions associated with this virus are not painful.
For many patients Molluscum will disappear naturally in up to two years and typically within one year. The transmission of the infection ends when there are no more growths and until then, as long as there are growths, the virus can spread and be transmitted to others. After you’ve healed, it is possible to become infected upon contact with the virus in the future.
Treatment is recommended to limit transmission as well as scars. It’s best to treat the lesions while they’re small. Lesions can reach the size of five millimeters to one centimeter in diameter and while they can resolve on their own, a small scar or crater-like growth can remain. In some cases, if there is no scratching, lesions may disappear without a scar.
Treatments include de-coring, scraping, freezing, electrosurgery or removing the lesions surgically. For some patients medications may be recommended.