Overview of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum (sometimes called molluscum contagium) is a benign viral infection of the skin. It most commonly affects children, but also occurs in adolescents and adults.

Molluscum Contagiosum Cause

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a poxvirus. It is spread by person-to-person contact and through casual contact with contaminated objects, such as shared towels and sports equipment. In adults, the infection is often transmitted sexually. Scratching the lesions can spread the virus to surrounding skin.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Sep 2000

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015