Molluscum Contagiosum

SkinCare in Wellesley, MA

While most cases of molluscum contagiosum resolve without treatment, but for some patients, treatment from an expert dermatologist is necessary. Dr. Rashel Goodkin is a Harvard-trained dermatologist who prioritizes effective treatment in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a poxvirus. This results in small, raised bumps on the skin which are usually not painful. Molluscum contagiosum lesions are typically shiny or smooth in appearance and may be pink, white, or flesh-colored. They tend to be firm and dome-shaped and may have a dimple in the center. Molluscum contagiosum lesions can be found in most areas of the skin including the face, torso, arms, legs, or genitals.

What Causes Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with a person or object that is contaminated. For example, using a towel that was previously used by someone with molluscum contagiosum can result in an infection. In some cases, patients may also spread the lesions to other areas of their own body by shaving or by scratching a lesion and touching an unaffected area of their body. In adults, the virus commonly spreads through sexual contact.

When to Seek Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum

Some cases of molluscum contagiosum resolve on their own as the body develops an immunity to the virus, particularly in children. However, some patients will require treatment, especially those who have added concerns about spreading the infection, large lesions, lesions found on the face or neck, or existing dermatologic conditions such as atopic dermatitis will require treatment from a qualified dermatologist.

Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum

To treat molluscum contagiosum, Dr. Goodkin may prescribe a cream, use cryotherapy or cantharidin (an extract from a blister beetle).

Cryotherapy involves freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen to remove them. Cantharidin is an extract from a blister beetle that can be painlessly applied to molluscum spots to induce a blister, which helps remove molluscum.

Topical treatments involve applying a cream that can help the immune system recognize the virus that causes molluscum lesions.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment for molluscum contagiosum treatment, call Dr. Goodkin’s office at 781.227.7977 or request an appointment through our online form.