Molluscum Contagiosum in Adults Pictures - 121 Photos & Images

Molluscum contagiosum is a common condition where small warty bumps (mollusca) appear on the skin. It is caused by a virus that can be passed on by skin contact or from contaminated towels, flannels, soft toys, etc. It is not serious and usually clears within 12-18 months without any treatment.

The skin develops small lumps (mollusca) which are pearly-white or slightly pink. Each lump (molluscum) looks like a small swelling on the skin and is round, firm and about 2-5 mm across. A tiny dimple often develops on the top of each molluscum. If you squeeze a molluscum, a white cheesy fluid comes out. In most cases fewer than 30 mollusca develop. Sometimes many mollusca develop over various parts of the skin. They tend to occur in groups or clusters. Any part of the body can be affected but it is rare on the palms and soles.

It is caused by a virus which can be passed on by skin-to-skin contact. You can also be infected by touching things that have been contaminated by the virus. For example, by sharing towels, flannels or soft toys that have been used by someone who has molluscum contagiosum. Once one area of skin is affected the rash can spread to other areas of your skin. However, most people are resistant (immune) to this virus. Therefore, most of those who come into contact with affected people do not develop molluscum contagiosum.

In adults sometimes the virus is passed on during the close skin-to-skin contact of having sex. If it is passed on whilst having sex then the first mollusca to appear tend to be on the skin of the lower tummy (abdomen) and around the penis, vagina or back passage (anus). If this occurs then you should consider being checked out for other sexually transmitted infections. You can attend a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic for tests and do not need a referral from your GP.

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