Molluscum Contagiosum: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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If you spot small, pink, rounded lesions on your skin, you may start to panic, thinking something terrible has happened, but in fact, you may just be suffering from molluscum contagiosum.

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum (MC), also called water warts, is a skin infection that results in the formation of groups of small, bulb-like warts. It is caused by a DNA poxvirus called Molluscum contagiosum. The good news is that this virus is generally harmless, but it can be unsightly and many people will do anything to treat the condition and avoid spreading it to loved ones and friends.


The M. contagiosum virus is spread by touching the affected area of the skin from other people or perhaps wiping your face with a towel or other virus-containing surface.


The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are bumps on the skin, but here’s what you should be looking out for:

  • Tiny, dome-shaped warts
  • Smooth and waxy texture
  • Look like flesh-colored or pink pearls
  • Dimpled in the center, the dimple may contain a waxy substance
  • Usually painless but may itch
  • Sometimes turn red
  • Spread on scratching or picking
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