Microsoft word - 513-molluscum

AIDS InfoNet
Fact Sheet Number 513
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin HAVE MOLLUSCUM?
infection. It is caused by a virus. A health care provider can easily Because the virus that causes Molluscum causes small bumps identify molluscum lesions. They are molluscum is so common, it is not (lesions) to appear on the skin. Most of waxy, flesh-colored bumps that don’t possible to avoid being exposed to it. them are less than half an inch in hurt or itch. There are only one or two However, if you have molluscum you other infections that cause skin should make sure that the lesions don’t Some lesions have a small dent or problems that look at all similar to touch anyone else. You should also be dimple in the center. The lesions are molluscum. Be careful not to scratch the lesions or HOW IS MOLLUSCUM care providers think that using an
and almost everyone has it in his or her TREATED?
electric shaver helps prevent the spread body. A healthy immune system will Molluscum lesions are treated the same of molluscum. control molluscum so that if lesions way as warts. Unfortunately, the lesions appear, they do not last a long time. often return and need to be treated systems can develop molluscum  They can be frozen with liquid DRUG INTERACTION
 They can be burned with an electric The acne drugs tretinoin (Retin-A) and needle (electrocautery) or a laser. isotretinoin (Accutane) tend to dry out the skin. Dry skin is also a side effect of problem. However, many people find  They can be treated with chemicals (Crixivan) and some other antiretroviral used on warts such as medications (ARVs). If you take use podophyllin, or podofilox. These along with ARVs that can cause dry chemicals can not be used on skin, your skin problems could get  They can be cut or “scooped” out HOW DOES MOLLUSCUM
They can be treated with drugs THE BOTTOM LINE
contact. It often spreads through sexual of the skin, but it is especially common This is a newer approach. These not medically dangerous, the lesions It can be spread from existing lesions to cause redness and soreness. Molluscum can be spread from person to person by direct skin contact. It can people. It can also be spread by objects be spread during sexual activity. If you (or clothing) that came in contact with a  Another approach is to use the lesions to new areas if you shave with a they often return and have to be treated Reviewed April 10, 2013
A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
Fact Sheets can be downloaded from the Internet at


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