What is Molluscum?

Molluscum are small, painless pearl-like bumps (nodules) that may appear anywhere on our body with the exception of the soles of our feet and our palms. This fairly common skin infection most often occurs when we come in contact with an infected person or a contaminated object.

This condition is common in children and can be spread easily from person to person. It often occurs in lines where a child or adult has scratched and caused the infection to spread.


Childhood molluscum usually involves multiple sites, whereas this condition in adults is more localized.

Signs and Symptoms of Molluscum

These typically include:

  • Bumps with a small dent or dot at the top near the center
  • Bumps on the face, trunk, arms or legs of children
  • Raised, round skin-colored bumps
  • Small bumps — typically the size of a pencil eraser
  • Itchy, pink bumps
  • Bumps on the genitals, lower abdomen or inner thighs of adults, if the infection was sexually transmitted

If you suspect you or your child has molluscum, please make an appointment to see one of our dermatologists.

Causes of Molluscum

This skin condition is caused by a virus that is a member of the poxvirus family. It’s also important to note that this virus can be spread through contact with contaminated objects, like towels, clothing and children’s toys as well as skin-to-skin contact. Scratching or rubbing the bumps will spread the virus to nearby skin.

Molluscum Treatments

This condition usually goes away on its own in healthy children and adults, and although it’s not necessary for a child to be treated, schools and daycare centers often ask that parents have an infected child treated to help prevent spread to other children. This treatment usually involves the use of prescription medication, creams and/or solutions. In addition, bothersome bumps may be removed with minor surgery or by freezing them off.