A part of growing up for many children!

molluscum diagram

What is Molluscum?

Molluscum is short for “Molluscum Contagiosum.” Despite the alarming sounding name, it’s a common viral skin infection.

The condition is very common in kids who can catch it from each other.

Molluscum may also occur in adults. The genital form of molluscum in adults is commonly sexually acquired.

What does Molluscum look like?

Mollosum has a lot in common with warts. However, molluscum lesions are smaller, have a central dimple, and appear in groups.

Lesions are usually clustered in groups – anything from 2 to over 30. Numerous small ones may be very close to each other and look like a funny sort of rash. Time to get the magnifying glass out. The lesions are usually smaller than viral warts (1 to 6mm across) and are classically described as “dome shaped” . Take a close look at the top of each lesion and you’ll often see a small dimple.

They are skin-coloured, pink, red or brown, and are often a little shiny.

They do have a fairly typical appearance to the experienced eye.

Individual lesions clear up after a few weeks – often to be replaced with lesions elsewhere. As individual lesions start to clear up, they often become inflamed and may even look infected although secondary infection is rare. A different phenomenon is when the background skin becomes scaly. The virus causes a localized eczema in around 10% of people. It’s also worth knowing that molluscum is more common and often more abundant in kids who have eczema. It can then be quite severe.

Molluscum can occasionally be up to 1.5cm. A solitary giant molluscum in an adult may look like a skin cancer, and a skin biopsy will likely be required.