Molluscum are common benign growths on the skin caused by a virus. These are typically small red, pink, or skin colored bumps that usually appear in childhood. Most people get up to 10 or 20, but people with a weakened immune system may get 100 or more and may get them into adulthood. Skin to skin contact can spread the virus that causes these bumps, but people can also get it from shared towels, shared clothing, or gym mats.
Dermatologists can usually diagnose molluscum contagiosum by looking closely, but occasionally a biopsy might be required to clarify the diagnosis. Treatment options at home might include applying a topical acne medicine called a retinoid. In-office treatments can include liquid nitrogen cryotherapy or a procedure called curettage, but usually treatment is with the in-office application of a liquid called cantharidin, which comes from the blister beetle. Sometimes in-office treatments need to be repeated to be completely successful.
We treat molluscum very commonly in our clinic and frequently use two different strengths of cantharidin with excellent results. At Summit Dermatology, we look forward to helping clear this up quickly for you and your family. Sometimes treatment may cause eczema to flare, which is already a skin condition that predisposes to getting these bumps. We will make sure you get the right kind of treatment.