Sample date: April 20, 2014

Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this afternoon. High 17 except 12 near Lake Huron. UV index 7 or high.

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Molluscum Contagiosum

This page was reviewed or revised on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 4:18 PM

What is it?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral disease of the skin and mucus membranes which results in lesions or small raised papules. These lesions may be flesh coloured, white, yellow or translucent in colour and contain a hard waxy centre core. Lesions are usually found on the trunk, lower abdominal wall, pubic area, genitals or inner thighs. They may be confused with genital warts.

Is it contagious?

Yes, molluscum contagiosum can be passed from person to person by direct contact with skin lesions. This includes sexual contact. The lesions will form anywhere from seven days to six months after contact with an infected person. They can grow slowly for weeks or months or they may remain unchanged for years. Lesions have an average lifespan of two to three months and then they usually go away on their own without treatment but may persist for six months to two years.

How is molluscum diagnosed?

Molluscum can be diagnosed by a visual examination by a doctor. The doctor may also wish to express some material (the centre core) from the lesion and examine it under a microscope for further testing. The removal of the central core of the lesion helps to shorten the course of illness and aids in healing.

How is it treated?

In most cases, the lesions disappear on their own and no treatment is necessary.

Occasionally, treatment such as burning or freezing of the lesions is necessary if lesions are numerous and/or bothersome.

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