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Molluscum

What is it?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection that causes clusters of skin papules (spots) called mollusca.

How is it passed on?

There are several ways it can spread:

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact
  • Indirect contact via shared towels or other items
  • Spread to another area on your body by scratching or shaving
  • Sexual transmission

What are the symptoms?

Molluscum causes clusters of small round papules (spots). The papules range in size from 1 to 6 mm and may be white, pink or brown. They often have a waxy, shiny look with a small central pit. 

The spots are not painful, but can be itchy.

Click here to see some photos of molluscum.

How do you test for it?

Molluscum is diagnosed by its characteristic appearance, we do not do a test.

What is the treatment?

Molluscum is generally a harmless condition that normally gets better in a few months without any specific treatment.

However, it’s common for the condition to spread around the body, so it can take up to 18 months or more for the condition to clear completely.

Find out how to avoid STIs.