Molluscum contagiosum is a non-lethal medical condition that affects the skin or occasionally the mucous membranes. It’s mostly found in humans and is contagious. It might be one of the non-lethal skin conditions, but it could rob an infected person of quality and comfort in personal life and the treatment might take years. Let’s take a brief overview of the disease.
What is Molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is caused by a DNA poxvirus called the Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). The disease is characterized by appearance of typical flesh-colored, dome-shaped lesions that look pearly. These lesions can appear anywhere on the human body except the palms and feet. Mostly, it appears n the groins, arms, trunk, and legs. There are four types of MCV – MCV-1 to MCV-4. MCV-1 is mostly found in adults and has higher incidence in children and adolescence who are sexually active or those who are immunodeficient. This medical condition is common in children aged one to 11-years-old.
How does it spread?
MC is contagious by nature and can be acquired from direct touch with lesions on the skin of an infected person or through cloths/tower he/she was using. Among children, it can be acquired during normal play with other children.
Among teens, it mostly spread through sexual contact. In nutshell, the disease can be acquired by any means that involves direct or indirect touch with lesions of an infected person.
The disease can even spread from one part of the body of the infected person to his other parts, and that’s what usually happens.
No symptoms of the disease are detectable for six months after first contact. After this incubation period, small, painless, red lesions begin to appear on the body parts. They are shiny and pearly in appearance, are flesh-colored or pink, shaped like a dome with a dimple in the middle, are filled with waxy material, and can measure anything between 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter. The lesions can even appear on the inner thigh, genitals, or abdomen in adults.
Molluscum contagiosum is non-lethal skin condition that poses no serious risk to physical health of infected person, and it mostly requires no medical treatment. An individual with healthy immune system hardly requires any medical assistance and us capable of curing it. However, in people with weak immune system, it may take longer time to heal, even four to five years.
However, the lesions disappear leaving no scars, and only rare cases require medical interference. An infected person might require medical help if lesions are large and spread all over face and neck, are already suffering from existing skin diseases such as topic dermatitis, or have high-risk of spreading the virus, like people living in close communities.
What doctors can do at their best is to either freeze each bump during cryotherapy or pierce the bump with a small tool and scrape it off the skin. Now, the doctors also use laser therapy to destroy the bumps. The creams containing acids or chemical are also effective to induce peeling of the top layers of the skin. Medical removal of the bumps might take many sessions as they are found in large number on the body of the infected person.
In some cases, the doctors may prescribe trichloroacetic acid, topical podophyllotoxin cream, cantharidin, and imiquimod.