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Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin that causes small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The center of the bump is often indented.

Molluscum contagiosum is most common in young children. The bumps can appear anywhere on the body that the virus contacts the skin, except for the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In sexually active teens and adults, the bumps are usually located in the genital area. The bumps are contagious but not harmful. In people who have an impaired immune system, such as HIV infection, the symptoms are more severe.

In healthy people, treatment often isn't needed, because the infection usually clears up within 6 to 18 months. In some cases, it may take several years for the bumps to go away. Treatment options include scraping off the bumps (curettage), applying medicine directly to the bumps (topical medicine), and freezing the bumps (cryotherapy).

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