Infectious molluscs are caused by the poxvirus Molluscum contagiosum and occurs in two age groups - children and adults of sexually active age. The reason for this is that the virus is spread by close contact with a carrier, which occurs during play in children, or during sexual intercourse in adults. The virus has a benign course, cases of self-healing have been described, but there are currently many therapies that deal with the problem successfully.
How does the infection occur?
The infestation with Molluscum contagiosum occurs in close physical contact between a virus carrier and a healthy individual. It usually occurs in children in kindergarten, when practicing sports and using common locker rooms and objects. Cases of mollusc transmission through infected towels, clothing and toys have been described, but have not yet been scientifically proven to be transmissible. In adults, infection occurs most often through sexual contact. It is also possible for a person to become infected by spreading the infection from one place to another when scratching. Fortunately Molluscum contagiosum is different from the herpes virus and once removed from the epidermis, the patient is no longer a carrier.
What do mollusks look like?
The lesions are small, round, pink-red, shiny papules with a depression in the center. They are usually clustered in several places, have a slight pearly sheen and are firm when touched. Their size varies from 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter. In some patients they itch, steam, in others they are completely asymptomatic. In the former there is a risk of self-infection by scratching. Mollusks can appear anywhere on the body - head, trunk, limbs, genital area.
How to treat them?
The treatment of mollusks is easy and painless. After staying with an analgesic cream, the lesions can be removed with a curette, with a carbon dioxide laser, with liquid nitrogen. Healing passes without leaving a scar. Mollusks can also be treated with special destructive solutions containing salicylic acid, urea, podophyllin, etc., but under medical supervision.
- Children who have atopic or seborrhoic dermatitis are at increased risk of mollusk infection due to the itchy nature of the underlying dermatoses.
- In the presence of mollusks, I recommend avoiding rubbing with a sponge and bath towel until you visit a dermatologist.