Watch Out for These Molluscum Contagiosum Symptoms

molluscum contagiosum infection bumps

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  • For people who come into contact with the Molluscum contagiosum virus, symptoms may not appear or be noticeable for up to six months. The average incubation period for the virus is between two and seven weeks
  • The lesions can appear on the face, abdomen, torso, arms and legs, and almost anywhere, except on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet. In adults, the lesions may be found on the inner thigh, genitals or abdomen
  • For people with healthy immune systems, a molluscum contagiosum infection can go away gradually on its own, within six to 12 months, and often without scarring

For people who come into contact with the Molluscum contagiosum virus, symptoms may not appear or be noticeable for up to six months. The average incubation period for the virus is between two and seven weeks.1 Arguably, the most common indicator of this infection is a small group of painless lesions called mollusca. According to Healthline, these bumps may appear alone or in patches of as many as 20, and are usually:

  • Very small, shiny and smooth-looking
  • Flesh-colored, white or pink
  • Firm and shaped like a dome with a dent or dimple in the middle
  • Filled with a central core of waxy material
  • 2 to 5 millimeters (mm) in diameter, or between the size of a pin head and the size of an eraser on top of a pencil

The lesions can appear on the face, abdomen, torso, arms and legs, and almost anywhere, except on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet. In adults, the lesions may be found on the inner thigh, genitals or abdomen. People who have a weakened immune system may have symptoms that are more prominent. The lesions may be as large as 15 mm in diameter (roughly the size of a dime), may appear more often on the face, and are typically resistant to treatment.2

Diagnosing Molluscum Contagiosum

Once you notice these symptoms, have them checked by a doctor. Because the bumps triggered by the disease have a distinct appearance, your doctor can diagnose the infection right away by looking at the affected area. Further confirmation can be done by skin scraping or a biopsy.

If you or someone you know has skin lesions that last longer than a few days, ensure that they are checked immediately. These lesions may be indicative of other diseases like skin cancer, chickenpox or warts. A confirmed diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum will rule out other causes for the lesions.3

How Long Does It Take for Molluscum Contagiosum to Heal?

For people with healthy immune systems, a molluscum contagiosum infection can go away gradually on its own, within six to 12 months, and often without scarring. However, it may take longer for some to notice that the bumps disappear, usually within a few months or up to a few years. Furthermore, if you have immune system problems, the infection can be more persistent and last even longer.

When the lesions fade, this means that the molluscum contagiosum virus is no longer present in the body. As a result, you can no longer spread the virus to other people or to other parts of the body. You’ll only see more bumps if you have unfortunately been infected again.

Unlike chickenpox, people previously diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum aren't automatically protected against a reinfection. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with the said infection already, follow effective prevention techniques to avoid being affected with this disease again.4

MORE ABOUT MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM

Molluscum Contagiosum: Introduction

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum Contagiosum Symptoms

Molluscum Contagiosum Causes

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Molluscum Contagiosum Prevention

Molluscum Contagiosum Diet

Molluscum Contagiosum FAQ


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