Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral skin infection which causes elevated, pearl-like papules or nodules on the skin. It resembles as small, pearl-shaped spots which are pink in colour. It may occur at any age but is basically noticed in children. Molluscum contagiosum infects humans, other primates and kangaroos. The infecting virus is a DNA poxvirus called the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). Molluscum contagiosum virus is locally a benign infection and symptoms may self-resolve. The virus imitates in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells producing cytoplasmic inclusions, and it may cause enlargement of infected cells.
Molluscum contagiosum affects equally. The infection is passed by close physical contact, fomites, and autoinoculation (as a result of which the patient manually spreads the infection from one location to another, by touching or scratching). Molluscum contagiosum eruptions are usually self-limited and without sequelae, though they can be more thorough in immunocompromised persons. The disorder may be seen in adults with an modified immune system.
Molluscum contagiosum may riposte to the initiation of effective combination anti-HIV therapy. It is generally notioned to infect humans exclusively, but there are a few isolated reports of Molluscum contagiosum occurring in chickens, sparrows, pigeons, chimpanzees, kangaroos, a dog, and a horse. Molluscum is generally seen on the genitals as a transmitted disease. Early lesions on the genitalia may be erroneous for herpes or warts but, unlike herpes, these lesions are painless. It is not a severe disease and usually clears up within a few months. It can, however, last for up to two years.
In adults, molluscum infections are often transmitted and usually infects the genitals, lower abdomen, buttocks, and inner thighs. In rare cases, molluscum infections are also present on the lips and mouth. Cluttered living conditions, use of public pools, and sharing of clothes and towels by infected persons have all been implicated in the spread of the virus. As it spreads easily, doctors often recommend medical treatment, specially for adults.
Causes of Molluscum contagiosum
The common causes and risk factor's of Molluscum contagiosum include the following:
- A virus which is a member of the poxvirus family.
- The infection can result from straight contact, including contact, or by indirect contact, such as sharing towels, or from swimming pools.
- A family history of Molluscum contagiosum.
- MCV also may be transmitted by autoinoculation, such as touching a lesion and touching another part of the body.
- Molluscum contagiosum can be spread by touching the rash and then another part of the body.
- Scratching or rubbing the papules spreads the virus to nearby skin.
Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum
Some sign and symptoms related to Molluscum contagiosum are as follows:
- Lesions are usually found on the thighs, buttocks, groin and lower abdomen of adults.
- Children typically develop lesions on the face, trunk, legs and arms.
- Lesions are flesh-colored, dome-shaped, and pearly in appearance.
- The rash only rarely includes the mouth, palms, or soles.
- Lesions are generally not painful, but they may itch or become irritated.
- Sometimes a tiny pit mark is left behind, or the area of skin looks slenderly lighter.
Treatment of Molluscum contagiosum
Here is list of the methods for treating Molluscum contagiosum:
- Lesions can be removed surgically and cured with a chemical agent such as podophyllin, cantharidin, phenol, silver nitrate, trichloracetic acid or iodine.
- Cryotherapy is an alternative method of removal.
- Try squeezing the mollusca after having a bath, when the skin is softer, and make sure you're wearing latex gloves to stop infection spreading.
- Some men find which shaving with an electric razor or using a disinfectant scrub having iodine inhibits the spread of molluscum to other parts of the beard area.
- Sometimes doctors give high doses of cimetidine by mouth to treat molluscum contagiosum.
- Imiquimod (Aldara), a topical cream that works by boosting the immune system - Although this drug is currently approved only for treatment of genital warts, it has been found to be effective against MC and can be applied at home.