Molluscum Contagiosum is a common skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. Molluscum is similar to warts, but caused by a different virus. The virus commonly occurs in young children because they have not developed an immunity to the virus. Adults usually have immunity to the virus and therefore do not get the infection. Molluscum are spread by direct contact; therefore, it is fairly common for siblings to have molluscum.
Molluscum are usually small, pink or flesh-colored dome-shaped growths. They are shiny and have a small indention in the center. Molluscum are often found in clusters on the chest, abdomen, arms, groin buttock, face or eyelids. Because molluscum can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, they are often found in the folds of arms or groin.
Treatment for molluscum is recommended because they spread, can become irritated, infected and painful if left untreated. Without treatment, it may take up to 2 years for all of the molluscum to go away on their own. Molluscum are treated similar to warts. They can be frozen with liquid nitrogen, scraped off, treated with an electric needle or destroyed with different acids or blistering solutions. They can also be treated at home daily with certain topical medications. Some discomfort is associated with some of the treatments; therefore, it is an option with young children not to treat the molluscum and wait for them to go away on their own.