Molluscum – Overview

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection. It causes round, firm, painless bumps that can be found anywhere on the body (though usually not on the palms, hands, or soles of the feet). 

The condition is quite contagious and can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or an infected object. Growths may appear on the skin several weeks or months after exposure to the virus. While molluscum is painless, the bumps can be itchy. Scratching the bumps can cause the infection to spread further across the body. 

Molluscum is most common in children, but it can affect adults. Typically, patients with compromised immune systems and eczema are most at risk for this condition. However, individuals with healthy immune systems or other medical issues may develop molluscum contagiosum. Without treatment, the condition usually clears up in six months to two years. However, when bumps are present, patients risk spreading the infection to other people, or other parts of their own body.

Molluscum contagiosum

If you have molluscum contagiosum, it can be successfully treated by Bay Area board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adrianna Browne at Illustra Dermatology. Dr. Browne utilizes a variety of treatment methods for molluscum contagiosum including: topical medications, cryosurgery, curettage, and rarely excision. Topical solutions such as cantharidin can be applied in-office to destroy the bumps. A topical retinoid may also be prescribed, which can be applied to the bumps as an at-home treatment. Cryosurgery involves freezing the bumps with liquid nitrogen—this is an effective course of treatment for older individuals or those who experience molluscum in sensitive areas. Finally, larger lesions may be treated with shave removal requiring local anesthesia such as lidocaine. In some cases, Dr. Browne may recommend letting the condition clear on its own, rather than treating it.

The development of skin issues can be an enormous source of emotional stress. Dr. Browne and the Bay Area staff at Illustra Dermatology want to provide medical care that goes more than just skin deep. She runs her practice with a sincere desire to find an ideal skin solution for every patient under her care, ensuring that each patient has an opportunity to express their concerns in a safe environment–without being judged. 

Contact Illustra Dermatology and book your appointment today for molluscum contagiosum treatment in the Bay Area.