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What Are the Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?

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Updated February 04, 2014

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What Are the Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?

An image of molluscum contagiosum on the chest. The central lesion has been scratched/picked and shows signs of irritation.

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Question: What Are the Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum?
Answer: Infection with the molluscum contagiosum virus causes raised fluid-filled bumps on the skin. These bumps range from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pencil eraser, and usually have a small dimple or pit in the middle. Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, may get larger bumps, up to the size of a dime, or groups of atypical bumps. In most people, the bumps caused by molluscum contagiosum are painless, but they can become itchy, irritated, swollen, or sore.

If the bumps become uncomfortable, it is important to avoid scratching them. Scratching can cause the virus to spread, or leave your skin susceptible to secondary infections with other bacteria.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control: Molluscum Contagiosum Page (Accessed 3/16/08)

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