What is molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is skin contamination brought about by the molluscum contagiosum infection. It results in benign raised bumps or lesions on the upper layers of your skin. The small bumps are usually painless. They go away on their own and rarely leave scars when left untreated. The length of time the virus lasts varies from person to person, but the bumps can remain from two months to four years.
Molluscum contagiosum is spread by direct contact with an infected person or by touching an object contaminated with the virus, such as a towel or piece of clothing. Medicines and surgical treatments are available, but treatment is not necessary in most cases. The virus can be more difficult to treat if you have a weak immune system.
What are the symptoms of molluscum contagiosum?
Signs and manifestations of molluscum contagiosum remember knocks for the skin that:
- They are tall, round, and flesh-coloured
- Small – usually less than 1/4 inch in diameter (smaller than 6 mm)
- It is characterized by having a small indentation (Sarra) or point at the top near the centre
- It can become red and inflamed
- It may itch
- It can be removed easily by scratching or rubbing, which may spread the virus to the nearby skin
- They usually appear on the face, neck, armpits, arms, and tops of the hands in children
- It can be seen on the genitals, lower abdomen, and upper thighs in adults if the infection is sexually transmitted
What causes molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by the smallpox virus, which is the molluscum contagious virus. There are at least 4 viral subtypes.
There are several ways to spread it:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact
- Indirect contact via shared towels or other items
- Automatic insemination at another site by scratching or shaving
- Sexual transmission in adults.
Transmission of molluscum contagiosum appears to be more likely in humid conditions, such as when children are bathing or swimming together. The incubation period is usually around 2 weeks but can be up to 6 months.
What is the treatment for molluscum contagiosum?
It is usually best not to treat, especially in children
This is because:
- The small lumps (molluscs) on the skin usually disappear without treatment within 12-18 months. Having a rash does not limit your activities like going to school, sports, swimming, etc.
- Many treatments can be painful (such as liquid nitrogen).
- Some treatments carry a risk of burning the surrounding skin.
- All treatments carry a small risk of scarring the skin. Scarring will rarely occur if the mollusc is left to disappear on its own.
- There isn’t really good evidence that any treatment makes much difference in how long the mollusc can survive.
Treatment options if needed
- There is no convincing evidence yet that anyone’s treatment works better.
- Sometimes treatment is required if the lesions are particularly unsightly or troublesome, or if they are spread too widely. You should discuss this with your GP.
- Sometimes slugs are frozen with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy).
- Creams and lotions can be used. As mentioned earlier, doctors don’t yet know which one is best, or even if some of them have any effect at all. Includes options used:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Potassium hydroxide
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Iodine preparations
- Imiquimod cream. (It is sometimes prescribed by dermatologists, especially for people with problems with their immune system.)
- Pulsed dye laser treatment. (Blow up molluscs with a special laser. Sometimes dermatologists use it.)
- If the skin around the mollusc becomes itchy or infected, your doctor can prescribe creams for this.
Who is at risk for infection?
Molluscum contagiosum is common enough that you are not surprised if you see someone has it or if someone in your family gets the infection. Although it is not limited to children, it is more common in children ages 1 to 10.
Includes people at increased risk of developing the disease:
- People with weakened immune systems (that is, people with HIV or people being treated for cancer) are more likely to develop molluscum contagiosum. Their growth may look different, be larger, and more difficult to treat.
- Atopic dermatitis may also be a risk factor for molluscum contagiosum due to repeated fractures of the skin. People with this condition may be more likely to spread molluscum contagiosum to other parts of their bodies for the same reason.
- People who live in warm, humid climates where living conditions are crowded.
Moreover, there is proof that molluscum contagiosum has been on the ascent in the United States since 1966, yet this disease isn’t regularly observed because it is once in a while hazardous and regularly clears without treatment.
How do physicians diagnose molluscum contagiosum?
Doctors or other health care providers diagnose molluscum contagiosum based on a person’s history and a physical examination. A skin biopsy or scraping of tissue showing a viral infection is a definitive diagnosis usually made by a pathologist or certified dermatologist. This final diagnosis sometimes helps distinguish between molluscum contagiosum and many other skin conditions such as herpes, genital warts (HPV), hives, atopic dermatitis, skin cancer, bacterial infections, or folliculitis.
Even though the papules are not generally difficult or bothersome, different conditions can create. Eczema around Mollusca can appear in some cases, causing itching, swelling, and sometimes pain. Eczema can scratch the skin, and this can increase the risk of infection and spread the virus, as well as slow the healing process.
Scratching or scratching the bumps can also lead to bacterial infection and itching. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Complications are more likely to affect people with weakened immune systems. This could be due to HIV, chemotherapy, or the use of certain medications.
Scarring may remain as small patches of pale skin or as small spaces. If the infection does occur, scarring is more likely. Eye complexities, for example, conjunctivitis or keratitis, can happen if MCV is around the eyes. They will be referred to an eye specialist.
What is the drawn-out standpoint for individuals with molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum usually goes away on its own if your immune system is healthy. Usually, this happens gradually within 6 to 12 months and without scarring. However, for some, it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years for the bumps to disappear. The infection can be more persistent and last longer for people with problems with the immune system.
Once the lesions fade, the M. Contagiosum virus is no longer in your body. When this happens, you cannot pass the virus on to others or other parts of your body. You will only see more bumps if you get the infection again. Unlike chickenpox, if you have ever had molluscum contagiosum once, you are not protected from reinfection.
Avoid direct contact with the skin lesions of people with molluscum contagiosum. Do not share towels or other personal items, such as razors and makeup, with other people.
Male and female condoms cannot fully protect you from getting molluscum contagiosum from a partner, as the virus can spread to areas that the condom does not cover. However, condom use must be continued every time the condition of a sexual partner’s illness is unknown. Condoms reduce the chances of getting or spreading molluscum contagiosum and other sexually transmitted diseases.