Molluscum Contagiosum

By: Kennedy LeMieux

While washing up 7 year old Leslie has noticed pearly white growths on her trunk and neck. She was recently at a friend's house who is sick with a virus and has the same white growths.


Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection that causes small waxy skin lesions. It is an infection that is caused by the pox virus. It is most common in children that are 1-10 years old. People who have weak immune systems, atopic dermititis, or live in warm humid climates are more at risk.
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Lesions are usually:

  • 2-5 millimeters in diameter
  • small, shiny, and smooth lesions
  • white, pink, or flesh colored lesions
  • firm and dome shaped with a dent in the middle
  • on face, torso, arms, legs
  • found anywhere but palms of hands or soles of feet


  • can be frozen off with liquid nitrogen or laser therapy
  • topical treatment: podophyllotoxin cream, salicylic acid
  • oral treatment- less painful than liquid nitrogen and laser therapy and can prevent scarring


  • only affects skin
  • typically cured without any treatment (6-12 months)
  • lesions can worsen into a bacterial infection if not cured within 6-12 months

Impact On Life

The lesions caused by Molluscum Contagiosum can cause lesions all over the body impacting the child's quality of life. They can be irritating and could take years to go completely away.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 May 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.

"Molluscum Contagiosum." Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.

"Molluscum Contagiosum." Molluscum Contagiosum. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.

"Molluscum Contagiosum." : Background, Etiology, Epidemiology. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.