- Small, flesh-colored bumps that cluster in areas of the skin
- Smooth, waxy appearance with a small dimple at the center
in Fargo, North Dakota
If you’ve noticed a collection of flesh-colored bumps anywhere on your skin, this can be a sign of molluscum contagiosum. This is a common occurrence for most people and is generally harmless, but it can still be a reason to see Dr. Ness because of cosmetic concerns or the frustration of re-infection.
This condition is a skin disease caused by a virus that can be highly contagious. It can manifest itself as many small bumps on the skin that are flesh-colored or somewhat pigmented. Most patients experience between ten and twenty bumps in any infected area, but patients with weakened immune systems can experience a lot more (even upwards of a hundred). These bumps are not dangerous to your skin or health but can cause frustration when it comes to cosmetic appearance or the spread of the virus to other areas of the skin.
This condition is caused by the spread of the virus, which can commonly live on towels or in warm, humid environments. Therefore, touching materials with the virus on it can cause it to spread to your skin. It can also spread from skin-to-skin or sexual contact, and many patients experience re-infection to other areas of the skin if touching or scratching the existing bumps and then touching another area of skin. Certain factors can cause patients to be more susceptible to it, including a weakened immune system (common in children or patients with a chronic illness) or having certain types of eczema.
I've been going to Dr Ness for 5 years. I have a family history of melanoma and she takes great care of me. As an extra bonus, I started using her skin care products a few months ago and my skin looks better than it has in years!
There are a few treatment options for most patients, although molluscum contagiosum will most often clear on its own within a few months. In serious cases, some therapies can be used to destroy the bumps using certain laser or topical techniques to remove the bumps and the chance of spreading the infection. This might also include at-home retinoid treatments to increase cell turnover and remove the bumps over time. In most cases, patients still experience the growth of new bumps over the course of treatment because the virus must run its course. Dermatological treatments are most often recommended for patients with weakened immune systems who will not see improvement on their own.
The best way to avoid this infection is through practicing good hygiene. It’s important to avoid sharing towels or objects that could be harboring the virus, as well as cleaning your skin thoroughly if you come into contact with someone who may have the virus. If you notice bumps beginning to grow, you should avoid touching or scratching them, since this can spread the infection. In most cases, you can allow the virus to run its course but should be sure to support your immune system so that your body can effectively fight it off.
Although molluscum contagiosum can go away on its own, it’s still important to discuss your treatment options with a board certified dermatologist. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ness, contact Fargo Dermatology by calling or filling out our online form.