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What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is an infection that causes small bumps on your skin. You get it through touching infected skin, including during sex. It goes away by itself and isn’t dangerous.

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Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that lives in the outer layer of your skin. You can get it during sexual contact, and it’s easily spread through non-sexual touching and by sharing clothes and towels, too. Both kids and adults can get molluscum contagiosum.

Molluscum contagiosum causes small, firm bumps or growths on your skin. They’re usually painless, but sometimes they can be itchy, sore, or swollen.

Molluscum contagiosum usually goes away on its own without treatment.

How is molluscum contagiosum contracted?

Molluscum contagiosum is passed through close contact with someone who has it. Many adults get the virus from sex, but you can get it other ways, too. Skin-to-skin contact with a part of the body that’s infected is all it takes for molluscum contagiosum to spread. You can also get molluscum contagiosum from touching clothes, towels, or toys. It’s possible to spread the infection to other parts of your body by touching or scratching the bumps.

Children can easily get molluscum contagiosum from touching the molluscum bumps on someone else’s skin, or sharing toys and other objects with them.  For kids, the bumps usually show up on the stomach, arms, legs, or face (not their genitals).