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Molluscum

Molluscum is a skin infection that is caused by a virus.  The infection causes small, smooth, skin coloured bumps, and sometimes can be confused with warts.

Molluscum is infectious, but not dangerous.  It is passed on from one person to another, by skin to skin contact, including sexual contact.  People may get molluscum in their genital area (for example, if they were infected from sexual contact), but also on other parts of the body e.g. face and hands, which can occur from general skin to skin contact (i.e. non sexual contact) with another person.  It can also be passed on by sharing contaminated items such as towels or clothes.

What are the Symptoms?

  • smooth, skin coloured/pearly bumps on the skin, up to 5mm diameter, sometimes a small dimple can be seen in the centre 
  • can occur anywhere on the body, but may be on or around the genital area if caused by sexual contact, or on exposed areas of skin e.g. face/hands/arms which may be from general social body contact.

How do you treat molluscum?

The molluscum infection will sometimes clear up by itself, but sometimes they are removed by being frozen, by a special cream being used, or by the inside of the bumps being removed by being squeezed out.  This can cause some scarring and be slightly painful, so a doctor or nurse can do this for you, or show you how to do it safely yourself.  If you think that you may have molluscum, it is important to see a doctor or nurse to make sure that this is what it is, and then it can be treated if needed.