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Molluscum Contagiosum
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Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by the molluscum contagio sum virus. It is a milk, self-limiting condition and is easily treated. It appears as a small, pearl-shaped spots, which are pink in colour.

It may occur at any age but is particularly found in children. It is not known to be a serious disease and usually clears up within few months. But it can some times last for up to two years.

Causes of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagio sum is also called water wart. It is an infection caused by a virus called poxvirus. This virus is passed from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact. It adults with symptoms on or near the genitals, this means sexual contact may transmit the infection.

It may also be possible for molluscum contagiosum virus to be transmitted on clothing or towels. It has been spread from one part of the body to another by scratching but not necessarily the genitals. Infection can also spread from swimming pools.

The incubation period for this disease is from the time of initial contact until the molluscum or spots appear is generally from two to eight weeks. This condition is usually found in children and affects the body arms and legs. It may also be spread through saliva.

In adults, as we know molluscum infections are usually sexually transmitted and hence affects the genitals, lower abdomen, buttocks and inner thighs. In rare cases molluscum infections also found in the lips and mouths.

Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum

The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum infection include flesh-coloured, pea-sized or smaller bumps called lesions. They have dimpled centre that may itch and may become irritated, tender or painful. In about 10% of the cases, eczema develops around the lesions.

In most of the patients, it has been seen that such wart like lesions do not have noticeable symptoms. Their lesions are more prone to secondary bacterial infections, which may complicate the original condition.

The central waxy opaque cores of the lesions contain the virus. In a process called autoinoculation, the lesion breaks to release the virus, which leads to the formation of new lesions at different parts of the skin.

Children are found to be more susceptible to auto inoculation and thus may have wide spread clusters of lesions. Person should maintain patience during this disease. He/she should wash the hands after touching the molluscum and should avoid scratching the molluscum as this may lead to spread of infection.

Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum

Usually no treatment is given because the disease disappears by itself. For mild cases, wart medicines such as salicylic acid may shorten the duration of infection. A person can also use acne treatments such as a mild or soft.

Scrub when showering or application of tretinoin cream. Medical treatments for this condition include cryosurgery, where liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and destroy lesions, as well as scraping then off with a curette. Side effects from these treatments include permanent discolouration and scarring. Pulsed dye laser treatment is also very effective but is really very expensive.



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