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Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus. It causes small pearly or flesh-coloured bumps. The bumps may itch. It can also cause a rash. The virus spreads easily but is usually not harmful. However, the infection can be serious in people with a weak immune system.
Molluscum contagiosum is most common in children younger than 10.
Without treatment, molluscum contagiosum usually goes away in 2 to 4 months. In some cases, it may take a year or longer for it to go away. You may want treatment if the bumps bother you or you want to keep them from spreading. Treatments include removing the bumps or freezing or putting medicine on them. Treatment depends on where the bumps are. Bumps in the genital area are usually removed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 1, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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