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Molluscum Contagisum

A benign, usually asymptomatic, viral infection of the skin, molluscum contagisum has no systemic symptoms, but lesions can become more intense and widespread in persons with eczema or immunodeficiency.

What causes Molluscum Contagisum?

A poxvirus.

How is Molluscum Contagisum spread?

Humans are the only source of the virus. It can be spread by direct contact with lesions, or by contact with objects such as towels, clothing, washcloths, mats or swimming pools.

What are the symptoms of Molluscum Contagisum?

Small, usually discrete flesh colored or translucent, domed-shaped papules on the trunk, face or extremities. 

How long is it contagious?

Unknown, probably while lesions are present. Contagiousness is generally low.

How can I prevent infection?

  1. Avoid swimming pools and close contact activities until lesions have cleared.
  2. Do not share towels or washcloths.
  3. Practice good hand hygiene after coming in contact with the papules.

For more information, please call the Northern Kentucky Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Revised November 2014