Molescum is another name for molluscum contagiosum, a highly infectious viral skin disease.
However, molescum is fairly benign in terms of what it does to the person who has it.
You won’t DIE from molluscum and it won’t make you sick but it’s extremely obnoxious!
So what is molescum exactly?
Whenever somebody gets moloscom they get these pimples called molluscum contagiosum warts that appear on the skin.
These warts don’t itch in the least or hurt at all but what they are is extremely unsightly and also highly contagious.
Hence the name, molescum contagiosum!
Molescum warts essentially look like pimples.
They tend to come individually or congregate in a given area together.
Molluscum has an interesting and annoying characteristic: it autoinocculates.
Autoinocculation is the process of the virus spreading itself without any help from the host.
So if you have molescum in a given area of your body and do not treat it, it’s possible that it will spread itself to healthy, neighboring skin.
Creative Commons Licensed Image: @Niels_Olson
The most common demographic is molluscum contagiosum in children.
Creative Commons Licensed Image: @mamacal00
However, adults can be and often are affected by molluscum as well.
Immunocompromised individuals tend to have molluscum more often and for longer periods of time.
Molescum also spreads very easily when wet and travels easily on towels, bedding, clothing, etc.
Skin to skin contact is also an excellent vehicle for the transmission of molescum, including sexual contact.
Molluscum Contagiosum can stay on the skin for up to a year!
The virus is actually concealed in a little waxy ball inside the individual molluscum warts and keeps the body from recognizing it as a threat.
Once the body does, it gets rid of it, itself.
But why wait around for an entire year with a disgusting skin condition that looks unsightly and can infect others?
Treating molluscum as soon as it is diagnosed is vital.
It’s a good idea to get a second and even a third opinion before beginning molluscum contagiosum treatment as it is highly contagious.
There are dozens of treatment options available ranging from creams, to systemic treatments and mechanical removal of the warts.
Whenever possible, mechanical removal is favored simply because it is the quickest, cleanest solution for many individuals.
Typically, this involves going to a doctor who will either cut the warts off carefully using an instrument called a currette (a sharp scalpel) or freeze them off using liquid nitrogen or Nitrous Oxide.
Either solution is fantastic and most of the time, these leave no scars and get rid of the molescum in as few as 1 or 2 treatments.
Also, removing them yourself is a great option.
From this Molluscum article on Wikipedia:
Most cases of molluscum will clear up naturally within two years (usually within nine months). So long as the skin growths are present, there is a possibility of transmitting the infection to another person. When the growths are gone, the possibility for spreading the infection is ended.
Unlike herpes viruses, which can remain inactive in the body for months or years before reappearing, molluscum contagiosum does not remain in the body when the growths are gone from the skin and will not reappear on their own. However, there is no permanent immunity to the virus, and it is possible to become infected again upon exposure to an infected person.
Advantage of treatment is to hasten the resolution of the virus. This limits the size of the “pox” scar. If left untreated, molluscum growth can reach sizes as large as a pea or a marble. Spontaneous resolution of large lesions can occur, but will leave larger crater like growth. As many treatment options are available for molescum, prognosis for minimal scarring is best if treatment is initiated while lesions are small.