16th March 2020
Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)
MC is a viral skin infection. The most common symptom of MC is small, firm, raised spots on the skin, which usually form in little clusters.
It's usually painless, although some people may feel mild to moderate itchiness. The condition is not a serious threat to health, but it can be annoying and, in severe cases, it can look ugly.
The condition is highly infectious. However, most people are resistant to the virus, meaning they are unlikely to develop MC if they come into contact with the virus.
MC can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, or indirectly through contact with objects that have been contaminated by an infected person, such as towels or clothing.
Children often catch it after close physical contact (such as play fighting or hugging) with another infected child. Adults may catch it after sex - this does not necessarily involve full sexual intercourse; it can just be close physical contact.
Tests and treatment
In most cases, MC will go away within 18 months without the need for treatment.
Treatment is only usually recommended for adults and older children when the spots of MC are particularly ugly and are affecting the person's quality of life.
Treatment for MC usually involves destroying the lesions, which can be done in a number of different ways.