Molluscum contagiosum is a common non-cancerous skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. They are similar to warts, but are caused by a different virus. The virus is easily spread by skin contact.
Molluscum are usually small, flesh-colored or pink, dome-shaped growths. They may appear shiny and have a small indentation in the center. They are usually found in clusters on the skin of the chest, abdomen, arms, groin, or buttock. They can also involve the face and eyelids.
The molluscum virus is transmitted from the skin of one person who has these growths to the skin of another person, especially where skin-to-skin contact is frequent. Molluscum can also be sexually transmitted if growths are present in the genital area.
Many dermatologists advise treating molluscum because they spread. They can be frozen with liquid nitrogen, or destroyed with various acids, blistering solutions, electrocautery or a curette. There are also a variety of compounds that can be applied at home. If there are many growths, multiple treatment sessions may be needed to completely clear the lesions.