Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a skin rash caused by a virus that was first described in 1817. The virus is a member of the Poxvirus family. It primarily affects children (boys more often than girls) and young adults. The incidence of molluscum contagiosum is increasing.

Causes

Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a virus that is a member of the Poxvirus family. This virus is called Molluscipoxvirus and it is a DNA virus. The incubation period (period between getting infected with the virus and the appearance of the symptoms) of this virus varies from 1 week to 6 months. The lesions are self-limiting and if left alone they can take 6 months to 5 years to disappear completely. The virus is transmitted by the following routes:

In children:

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with infected skin
  • By saliva
  • Scratching, picking or breaking the blisters and touching one another
  • Through shared towels, clothes, etc
  • Using public toilets or bathing in swimming pool

In adults:

  • Nonsexual, intimate contact
  • Multiple sexual contacts
  • Vaginal, anal or oral intercourse
  • Sharing contaminated objects such as towels, gym equipments, shaving blades, etc.

Symptoms

After an incubation period of two to seven weeks, the molluscum contagiosum rash begins as tiny papules (small raised bumps), each measuring 3-6 mm (about one-eighth to one-quarter inch). Some may be as large as 3 cm (1.2 inches) across.

  • Molluscum lesions begin as small papules (tiny raised bumps)
  • The lesions are usually small, 1-5 mm in diameter; rarely they are upto 10mm in diameter
  • The lesions are dry
  • They are raised, dome-shaped shiny, flesh colored lesions and when they grow, they develop a dimple in the center
  • The dimpled center contains cheesy material that can be squeezed out
  • These lesions are usually painless
  • If the lesions are picked or disturbed, they can develop super-added bacterial infection and then the patient may complain of pain and itching
  • Scratching spreads the lesions to other parts of the body and this is known as ‘Auto-inoculation’
  • Usually fewer than 20 lesions are seen but several hundreds of them can appear sometimes
  • Multiple widespread, persistent and disfiguring lesions can be seen in people with impaired immune systems

Prevention

  • Good personal hygiene is a key factor in avoiding transmission of this disease.
  • MC is spread by close personal contact with infected people. Avoid skin-to-skin contact with others in order to prevent transmission.
  • Transmission has been shown to occur in children from swimming pools and in the sharing of baths, towels, gym equipment, and benches.
  • Because the rash can spread by autoinoculation (spread from one part of the body to another by touching the lesions), avoid scratching the lesions.
  • Because sexual transmission is common in adults, avoid sexual contact with infected people.

Homeopathy

has excellent scope in the treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum. The treatment is targeted towards the root of the illness and hence Homeopathy brings about lasting cure Homeopathic treatment not only helps in getting rid of the existing molluscum contagiosum but it also helps in removing the tendency for this condition to recur. Also the method of healing of the molluscum is without the use of any surgical aids and hence it helps in preventing scarring and

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