Molluscum Contagiosum Research in Portland, Oregon
Molluscum contagiosum is a common non-cancerous skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. They are similar to warts, but are caused by a different virus. The name molluscum contagiosum implies that the virus and the growths are easily spread by skin contact. The virus that causes molluscum contagiosum belongs to a family of viruses called poxviruses. This virus can enter through small breaks in the skin or hair follicles and can lead to the development of the molluscum lesions. It does not affect any internal organs.
What do molluscum look like?
Molluscum are usually small flesh-colored or pink dome-shaped growths. They may appear shiny and have a small indentation in the center. Molluscum are often found in clusters on the skin of the chest, abdomen, arms, groin or buttocks. They can also involve the face and eyelids. Because they can spread by skin-to-skin contact, molluscum are usually found in areas of the skin that touch each other such as folds in the arm or in the groin. Often the molluscum may become red or inflamed. This tends to occur just before the growth is ready to go away on its own. Sometimes, the dermatologist might scrape some cells from the lesion and look at these under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis of molluscum. In people with diseases of the immune system, the molluscum may be very large in size and may involve the face.
How do you get molluscum?
Why do some people get molluscum and others do not?
Do molluscum need to be treated?
How do dermatologists treat molluscum?
What if the molluscum come back after treatment?
Is there any research going on about molluscum?
New drugs are being developed to treat viral infections. Molluscum infection has improved in some patients with HIV who were taking certain antiviral drugs. If new and effective antiviral drugs can be developed in a topical form, perhaps they may be of benefit in the treatment of molluscum in the future.