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Molluscum Contagiosum

Dear Doctor

I have the bumps on my cheeks and forehead, really multiple all over facial areas. I have had the ones on my forehead at least 2 years, they never go away! No pain or feeling to them just ugly and they seem to be increasing onto my cheeks!

Very frustrated and need advice thanks in advance for any help!

Molluscum Contagiosum

Dear Patient

This is Molluscum Contagiosum.

Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum

Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum include small swellings which are pink or pearly white or skin colored. These dome shaped swellings are smooth, firm and umbilicated which means they have a tiny dimple in the center.


Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum

Mollusca contagiousum does not usually require treatment since the mollusca (the small swellings) last for 6-12 weeks before they develop crusts and disappear. However, crops of new lesions develop as the virus spreads to other parts of the skin through autoinoculation or self-infection. It may therefore take from 1 year to 1 ½ years before the mollusca resolve completely though they can last for up to 3 years.

Treatment is usually given if the mollusca are too many or cosmetically disfiguring or to prevent them from spread to other parts of the body or other people. Treatment therapies used for molluscum contagiousm include:


Cryotherapy is freezing the mollusca with liquid nitrogen.



Curettage is a medical procedure in which the mollusca are removed by being scraped with a special instrument known as a curette.



Electrocautery, which is also known as cauterization, is a medical procedure in which the mollusca are destroyed by passing an electric current through them with a probe.


Topical Irritants

Irritants which are applied on the skin to treat molluscum contagiosum include:

  1. 5% Imiquimod Cream
  2. Topical retinoids like Tretinoin (Retin A) and Tazarotene
  3. Cantharidin

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