The molluscum contagiosum rash doesn't usually cause lasting problems, but is contagious. It can spread to other parts of the body or to other people through skin-to-skin contact (including sexual contact) or contact with an infected person's bath towels or clothes.
The rash looks like one or more small growths or wart-like bumps (called mollusca) that are pink, white, or skin-colored. The bumps are typically soft and smooth and may have an indented center. Although usually painless, the bumps may become itchy, sore, red, and/or swollen. If scratched or picked, they can become infected with bacteria.
A doctor often can recognize molluscum contagiosum just by looking at the rash. In many cases, doctors recommend letting the rash go away on its own without treatment. This usually takes 6-12 months, but sometimes can be longer.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Dermatology Provides up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Molluscum Contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum is a common wart-like viral skin infection. For most children, the rash is no big deal and goes away on its own over time.|
|Molluscum Contagiosum The name sounds dramatic, like a Harry Potter spell. Luckily, molluscum contagiosum isn't a big deal. Find out what to do about it in this article for teens.|
|What's Up With Warts? Nobody likes a wart. Find out why kids get them and how to get rid of them.|
|Warts Most warts are easy to treat and are rarely cause for alarm. Read this article for more information on warts and how to get rid of them.|
|Warts Many of us have had a wart somewhere on our bodies at some time. But other than being a nuisance, most warts are harmless.|
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