Symptoms and Signs of Molluscum Contagiosum Infection

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/7/2021

Doctor's Notes on Molluscum Contagiosum Infection

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin infection and primarily affects children and young adults. Signs and symptoms of this skin infection are raised, rounded bumps on skin that are white, pink, or flesh-colored. The bumps can develop a dimple and contain a white cheesy material. In most people, the disease is benign and self-limited.

Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) is the cause the disease. There are at least four types of the MCV virus with MCV-1 being the most common cause. It usually spreads from person to person, but it can be transmitted in contaminated clothing and other objects.

What Is the Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum Infection?

Treatments for MCV infection is often not needed as the disease is self-limited in many individuals. However, treatments have a range of options:

  • No treatment
  • Suggest treatment if lesions are in or near the genital area
  • Physical removal by various methods (cryotherapy, laser therapy, and/or curettage)
  • Oral cimetidine therapy
  • Topical therapy with podophyllotoxin cream (not recommended for pregnant women Interferon injected into lesions in immunocompromised patients

Your doctor can help determine the best treatment for you.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.