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Watch Out for These Molluscum Contagiosum Symptoms

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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 may 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 appear within one week 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. The bumps may appear alone2 or as many as 20 at once. Some people may develop over 100 papules. Here are some of the telltale characteristics of the mollusca:3,4

  • Small, shiny and firm5
  • Have a diameter between 2 and 5 millimeters (mm), or between the size of a pin head and a pencil eraser
  • Flesh-colored, white or pink
  • Shaped like a dome, with a dimple in the middle
  • Have a waxy material at the center6

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 resistant to treatment.7

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 may diagnose the infection right away by looking at the affected area. Further confirmation can be done by skin scraping.8 A confirmed diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum is vital because it can help rule out other causes for lesions that may appear on your body.9

How Long Does It Take for Molluscum Contagiosum to Heal?

For people with healthy immune systems, a molluscum contagiosum infection may go away gradually on its own, within six to 12 months.10 However, it may take longer for some to notice that the bumps disappear, usually within a few months or up to a few years.11 If you have immune system problems, the infection may be more persistent and last even longer.12

When the lesions fade, this means that the molluscum contagiosum virus is no longer present in the body, and you can no longer spread the virus to other people or to other body parts.13 People previously diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum aren’t automatically protected against a reinfection.14 If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with it, follow effective prevention techniques to avoid being affected with this disease again.

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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