Molluscum Contagiosum (viral) New Jersey

Molluscum (muh-luhs-kum) contagiosum (kən-tā-jē-ō-səm) is a common skin disease. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from person to person.

People can get molluscum by sharing towels and clothing. Wrestlers and gymnasts may get it from touching infected mats. Skin-to-skin contact also spreads the virus.

Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. These bumps can appear anywhere on the skin.
Scratching or picking at these bumps can spread the virus from one part of your body to another.
Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. If a person has a weakened immune system, many bumps often appear. People who have AIDS can have 100 or more bumps.

Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscumcontagiosum is contagious.

Treatments that Dr. Rothfleisch can perform in the office to treat molluscumcontagiosum include:

  • Cryosurgery: The dermatologist freezes the bumps with liquid nitrogen.
  • Curettage: The dermatologist may use a small tool called a curette to scrape the bumps from the skin.
  • Laser surgery: A dermatologist uses a laser to target and destroy the bumps. This can be an effective treatment for people who have a weakened immune system.
  • Topical (applied to the skin) therapy: Your dermatologist can apply various acids and blistering solutions to destroy the bumps. These work by destroying the top layers of the skin
  • When a patient has many bumps or large bumps, a dermatologist may need to repeat the procedure every 3 to 6 weeks until the bumps disappear. These procedures cause some discomfort.

Medicines that your dermatologist may prescribe for you to use at home include:

  • Imiquimod: This medicine is applied to the bumps. Imiquimod helps your immune system fight the virus. This is strong medicine. It also is used to treat stubborn warts and some skin cancers.
  • Retinoid or antiviral medicine applied to the skin: Patients apply this medicine to the bumps as instructed.

While treating the bumps, it is normal for new bumps to appear as others fade.