Molluscum Contagiosum – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Home Remedies

Water warts commonly known as Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection caused by poxvirus. It results into the tiny, raised bums over the skin which often remain painless.

Poxvirus aka molluscum contagiosum virus can affect people of any age group but the condition is commonly found in children.

Usually, it gets cleared within a few months but if it spread around the body then it may take more time (around 18 months) to heal completely. [01]

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What is Molluscum Contagiosum or Water Warts?

Water warts is a contagious skin infection caused by molluscum contagiosum virus (poxvirus) and lead to small, painless or slightly itchy, raised bums over child’s arms, chest, legs and back. It is a harmless illness that goes by its own but may take a few years. If a kid shows large numbers of water warts, then seek a medical advice. [02] [/thrive_text_block]

How Water Warts spread?

Water warts spread via skin-to-skin contact among the children.

Often, children tend to pick the water warts and touch another area of their body which results into forming a new water wart.

If infected children go to school or play with others who do not have molluscum contagiosum then he may transfer the virus to others resulting others to suffer from it.

Sharing clothes like a towel or toys of an infected kid with those who are not suffering from this condition can also cause the virus to spread.

Water Warts Symptom

An incubation period of water warts is 2 weeks to 6 months. So, often you can’t able to see any symptoms up to the six months after contracting the virus.

[thrive_text_block color=”red”] Here are the primary symptoms of M.Contagiosum: [03]

  1. Small, tiny, raised bumps over the skin.
  2. Often found in clusters and less than 5mm in size but can become larger than that.
  3. Bumps are dome-shaped and have a tiny dimple in the center.
  4. Color of bumps are pink or red but can have a yellow or white head.
  5. If ruptures, white-yellow liquid oozes out which is highly infectious.
  6. These bumps can grow at any place over the body except the sole of feet and palm of hands.
  7. Often found over face, abdomen, genitals, thighs and extremities of kids.[/thrive_text_block]

People with weak immunity shows the more significant symptoms like lesions with a diameter of more than 10 to 15 millimetre. Also, more than 20 to 30 bumps can be seen is a single cluster and often does not respond well to the treatment.

Note: Do not try to squeeze the bumps as it contains a highly infectious liquid which spread the virus to other sites of the body.

Water Warts Progress

If your immune system is healthy then Molluscum contagiosum go away on its own but it takes 6 to 12 months for complete recovery.

Usually, water warts start to crust over, and healing process completes over the period of two months. In some cases, it takes a longer time, and all these depend upon your immunity system.

Water Warts Pictures

Water Warts Treatment

Usually, molluscum contagiosum does not require treatment as they fade away on its own but it takes time to happen that. In most cases, it takes 2 to 3 months but new lesion appears as old one fades away, so it takes longer than 3 months. Often it can take 6 to 18 months and even 4 years in some cases. [04]

If started in the early stage, treatment can help yield the good results as lesion are few and can be treated without infection surrounding skin.

Physician tries to avoid treating water warts as they fade away on its own as well as treatment may cause the virus to spread to other healthy locations over the skin. Do remember that poxvirus is a highly contagious virus and spreads promptly.

[thrive_text_block color=”teal”] Here are some ways that doctor may use to treat water warts:

  1. Squeezing the water wart with tweezers to remove the contagious center of bumps.
  2. Using topical creams or solutions like salicylic acid, cantharidine or tretinoin.
  3. Freezing down warts with cryotherapy.
  4. Scrapping the surface of wart (known as curettage) using sharp medical instruments.
  5. For kids that do not tolerate cryotherapy or curettage, the doctor may prescribe oral drugs like cimetidine. [05]

[01] Brown ST, Nalley JF, Kraus SJ. “Molluscum contagiosum.” PMID:7027479
[02] Badri T, Gandhi GR. Molluscum Contagiosum. [Updated 2017 Oct 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-.
[03] Molluscum contagiosum – Overview, Symptoms & Treatment. (Cited on 07 Oct 2018)
[04] Patrice Hyde, MD. “Molluscum contagiosum – Causes, symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complication & Prevention”. (Cited on 07 Oct 2018)
[05] K Wiss reviewing Dohil M; Prendiville JS. Pediatr Dermatol 1996. “Cimetidine for Molluscum Contagiosum”. (Cited on 07 Oct 2018)