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Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a harmless viral infection that causes a skin growth. It is easily transmitted by direct skin contact and, less frequently, by sharing clothing and inanimate objects.

Molluscum Contagiosum Symptoms

Molluscum contagiosum enters the body through hair follicles or small breaks in your skin. It does not affect your internal organs and is not malignant (cancerous). Look for these symptoms:

Shiny and pearly white, pink, or skin-colored bumps with a tiny indentation at the center

Bumps that appear in groups or alone

Bumps on the chest, abdomen, arms, thighs, genitals, face, or elsewhere

Bumps that become red or inflamed, especially right before they go away

Molluscum Contagiosum Prevention

If you already have bumps, avoid scratching or shaving them. If you don't, try these tips:

Avoid sharing towels or personal clothing, especially sports uniforms

Use condoms or avoid sexual contact

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Molluscum contagiosum will eventually go away on its own. Your medical provider can also treat the bumps by:

Freezing them with liquid nitrogen

Treating them with chemicals

Scraping them off

Prescribing a topical medication


Laser treatment

It can take several treatments to remove all bumps, and scarring can occur. Scarring is less likely if you choose to let the bumps go away on their own. Schedule an appointment with the IU Health Center Medical Clinic if you want more information about treatment options.

Revised 5/25/2018