What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

There are many skin issues that result in bumps, so it can be difficult to diagnose what type of skin condition you have simply through observation. Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology, located in Old Bridge, NJ, has seen patients for over 30 years and has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating all types of skin, hair, and nail problems. One common condition he treats is molluscum contagiosum, which is a virus that results in small skin bumps.


Molluscum contagiosum commonly appears in children, and its sole symptom is the presence of small, painless bumps that appear between 7 weeks and several months after exposure to the virus. The bumps are firm, pearly, waxy, flesh colored, and sometimes has a dimpled center. Since the virus is contagious, touching or scratching the bumps can cause spreading to other areas of the body or other people. In adults, the virus can also be spread through sexual contact and bumps can appear on the inner thighs, genitals, as well as the face, hands, neck, and armpits. For people with weakened immune systems, the infection can cause over 100 bumps in one area.


Molluscum contagiosum infections usually disappear over time. However, especially for those with decreased immune responses, there are treatment options available to remove the growths sooner.

  • Topical treatments include acids and blistering agent that eradicate the bumps
  • Cryotherapy involves freezing the bumps using liquid nitrogen
  • A curette may be used to scrape off the bumps
  • Laser treatment is most appropriate for people with weakened immune systems and involves removing the growths with a laser.

Since these infections can take time to heal, it is in your skin’s best interest to consult with a skilled, board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Vaillant, who can offer treatment methods best suited for you. Dr. Vaillant can remove and prevent further growth of the virus, and also address any other dermatological issues you may have, such as eczema, acne, and skin cancer. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (732) 679-0222!