Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), which produces benign raised lesions or bumps on the skin. The infection is highly contagious and can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, contaminated objects, or contact with contaminated surfaces.
The condition typically clears up on its own within a few months to a few years, but treatment may be recommended for faster resolution, to prevent the spread of the infection, or to reduce symptoms such as itching or irritation. Treatment options may include topical medications, cryotherapy (freezing), curettage (scraping off the lesions), or laser therapy.
If left untreated, molluscum contagiosum can potentially last for several months to years. While it generally resolves on its own, it can sometimes spread to other areas of the body or to other people. Scratching or picking at the lesions can cause them to become infected, which can result in scarring. In rare cases, people with weakened immune systems may experience more severe cases of molluscum contagiosum. It is generally recommended to seek treatment to avoid spreading the infection and minimize potential complications.
Skin infections can also be caused by other types of bacteria or viruses, and treatment will depend on the specific type of infection. Topical or oral antibiotics may be used for bacterial skin infections, while antiviral medications may be used for viral infections. In some cases, other treatments such as topical antifungal medications or surgical intervention may be necessary. It's important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment of skin infections.