Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus. The virus can be spread through close personal contact, as well as through contact with contaminated objects, such as towels or clothing. The infection can occur in people of all ages, but it is most common in children.

Molluscum contagiosum appears as small, flesh-colored or white bumps on the skin that are usually painless, but may itch or become inflamed. The bumps often have a central indentation, or “dimple,” and may have a waxy or pearly appearance. The bumps can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, neck, arms, and hands.


Molluscum contagiosum usually goes away on its own within 6 to 12 months, but treatment may be recommended to prevent the infection from spreading or to reduce symptoms.

Treatment options may include:

  • Cryotherapy: This involves freezing the bumps with liquid nitrogen to destroy the infected cells.
  • Curettage: This involves scraping off the bumps with a special instrument.
  • Topical treatments: These may include creams, ointments, or solutions that contain chemicals that help to destroy the infected cells.
  • Laser therapy: This involves using a laser to destroy the infected cells.


The molluscum contagiosum virus remains in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and does not circulate throughout the body; therefore, it cannot spread through coughing or sneezing. Since the virus lives only in the top layer of skin, once the lesions are gone the virus is gone and you cannot spread it to others

Molluscum contagiosum is not like herpes viruses which can remain dormant (“sleeping”) in your body for long periods of time and then reappear. If you get new molluscum contagiosum lesions after you are cured, it means you have come in contact with an infected person or object again.


To prevent the spread of molluscum contagiosum, it is important to avoid close contact with infected individuals and to avoid sharing personal items, such as towels or clothing. Good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently, can also help to prevent the spread of the virus.

If you or your child has symptoms of molluscum contagiosum, it is important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the best treatment option for your individual needs and help you prevent the spread of the infection.

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection that causes small, raised, and painless bumps on the skin. It is caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus and is highly contagious, often spreading through direct skin-to-skin contact or by sharing personal items like towels or clothing.
Molluscum contagiosum is typically diagnosed based on its characteristic appearance. The healthcare provider will examine the bumps and may perform a visual inspection or use a dermatoscope to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, a biopsy may be conducted to rule out other skin conditions.
Molluscum contagiosum can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. However, the duration can vary for each individual. The bumps will eventually go away on their own as the immune system clears the infection. Treatment options can help speed up the healing process.
Yes, treatment options are available for Molluscum contagiosum. These may include cryotherapy (freezing the bumps), curettage (scraping off the bumps), topical medications or other procedures performed by a healthcare professional. It's important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment approach based on the individual's age, overall health, and extent of the infection.
Molluscum contagiosum can sometimes recur even after successful treatment. This can happen if all the infected bumps were not completely removed or if there was a new exposure to the virus. Close monitoring and follow-up with a dermatologist are essential to ensure proper management and prevent recurrence.

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.