Like warts, molluscum contagiosum is a condition caused by a viral infection. In this condition, a rash will appear somewhere on the skin. This rash may start out with only one or a few white, pink, or skin-colored bumps that look similar to a wart. Bumps are typically not painful, but may become itchy. Mollusca bumps are most commonly seen in younger children, anywhere from age 1 to 12, but may also occur in teens and adults, as well as people who engage in certain sports, such as swimming, wrestling, or gymnastics.

This skin condition sets in when the skin is affected by the molluscum contagiosum virus, or MCV. A virus that thrives in damp, warm areas, MCV can get into the skin through tiny breaks in the surface. Touching an object that has the virus on it, such as a towel or toy, or coming into contact with the affected skin of another person, can trigger the development of a rash. This virus also has the power to spread through water. Once the skin has become infected, a rash will develop in two to eight weeks, and may last for several months, spreading from one area of the body to another if the rash is rubbed or scratched.

Molluscum contagiosum may look like small pink or white bumps, which may contain a waxy, white pus, giving the bump a pearly appearance. Often found on the stomach, chest, arms, groin, legs, genital area, or face, mollusca may grow in rows or clusters, or remain a solitary bump.

Treatment of this skin condition is most effective when begun early, when only a few growths have yet to develop. Your dermatologist is familiar with the details of skin conditions, and can determine if a rash is molluscum contagiosum, prompting the quick and proper treatment of irritation.

Rather than waiting, or trying to treat a persistent rash on your own, Contact the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment.