Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes raised, pearl-like
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that is a member of the poxvirus family. You can get the infection in a number of different ways.
This is a common infection in children and occurs when a child comes into direct contact with a lesion. It is frequently seen on the face, neck, armpit, arms, and hands but may occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles.
The virus can spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as towels, clothing, or toys.
The virus also spreads by sexual contact. Early lesions on the genitalia may be mistaken for herpes or warts but, unlike herpes, these lesions are painless.
Persons with a weakened immune system (due to conditions such as
Review Date: 07/17/2007
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Associate, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.