Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral rash that presents on the skin with pink to skin-colored, dome-shaped papules with central umbilication. They typically appear in clusters and can occur nearly anywhere on the body but tend to spare the palms and soles. They are most common in children and spread easily through skin-to-skin contact and other items such as towels, pool toys, etc. People with atopic dermatitis (eczema) or who are immunocompromised are at higher risk. In adults, molluscum is often present as a sexually transmitted disease.

Left untreated, molluscum contagiosum can resolve on its own. However, this may take several months or more than a year. Treatment options include cantharidin, topical retinoids, cryotherapy (freezing), or physical removal with a curette. Our preferred treatment is an application of cantharidin. This topical medicine is derived from a blister beetle and is relatively pain-free to apply in the office. It causes a small blister to form over the molluscum lesion. Subsequently, the cantharidin is washed off all lesions. In the next few days after treatment, the lesion will slough off and heal.

While molluscums are relatively harmless, they are a nuisance and can spread quickly. They can also become secondarily infected and painful! Call our office for evaluation and to discuss which treatment option is appropriate for you and your family.


Can my child go to school?
Yes! However, your child will need to be with a parent or guardian after the application of cantharidin to wash off medication as directed.

Should I cover molluscum?
If possible, areas with molluscum should be covered to avoid transmission to others and other parts of the body.

How long am I contagious?
A person is contagious until all molluscum lesions have resolved

How can I prevent transmission?
Avoid scratching or picking at lesions, keep hands clean, keep areas with molluscum covered if possible, and avoid sharing towels, personal items, or sporting equipment.

Does molluscum cause scarring?
Molluscum lesions can leave behind small pocked scars. This can occur with or without treatment.

In conclusion, understanding Molluscum contagiosum is crucial for maintaining your skin’s health and preventing its spread. At Mahoney Dermatology, we’re dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and expert care you need to manage this common viral infection effectively. If you or a loved one is dealing with Molluscum contagiosum or any other dermatological concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team. We’re here to support you on your journey to clear and healthy skin. Remember, knowledge is power, and by staying informed, you’re taking the first step towards a happier, more confident you. Your skin deserves the best, and Mahoney Dermatology is here to help you achieve just that. Contact us today!