Molescum

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

Mollescum

Mollescum

The most common demographic is molluscum contagiosum in children.

 
Creative Commons Licensed Image: @mamacal00

Molescum

Molescum


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.

To learn how to remove molluscum contagiosum yourself, click below:

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.[10]

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.[10] 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.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

nicki grime April 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

We fist saw our pediatriciam regarding the molluscum and she explain it was really not curable and would have to run it’s course – could even be a year..or freeze each of them or acid. Well we took our daughter to a dermatologist and he gave us Childrens Tagement liguid and every single dot she had was gone within a week to ten days. He did say if may not work for everyone but it sure did work for us. Hope this info will help others!

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Laura July 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Did you apply the Tagement directly to the bumps or ingest it?

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admin August 18, 2011 at 12:49 am

@Laura, I’ve never tried Tagamet or Zymaderm, two treatments that seem to work for a good percentage of individuals.

The things with Molluscum is that there are 4 distinct viruses (MCV 1,2,3 and 4) which partially accounts for the variable results of treatment.

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admin August 18, 2011 at 1:02 am

Nicki,

I’m really glad your daughter’s molluscum cleared up! :-)

As adults we can somewhat limit our interactions with others but kids will almost always forget that they’re not supposed to touch the infected area, touch others, etc.

I’ve read mixed reviews regarding the effectiveness of Tagamet and even though it’s considered “safe”, I personally prefer mechanical removal via curettage or freezing the molluscum warts off, particularly for children who’s immune systems aren’t able to resist toxic insults from various medicines as well as adults.

Thanks for your contribution Nicki!

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unkonwn August 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I have mollescum & it just appeared one day. The doctor said its so easily contagious you can get it from sitting on a toilet seat. I went to a dermatologist after the cream didnt work they froze them off and they disappered. While I thought they were gone, two more (that I can see) appeared, its really embarssing. The good thing is it doesnt hurt unless its rubbing against something alot.

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admin August 18, 2011 at 12:52 am

Yes, molluscum is extremely virulent!

I also had the liquid nitrogen procedure done at a doctors office and worked OK but left some faint red dots (scars) behind. Depending upon where they are, you can remove them yourself with a sterilized sewing needle.

Good luck!

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