Molluscum Contagiosum

Overview of Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin disease seen in children and adults. It is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Transmission through sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among adults. Most patients have multiple lesions that can appear on the limbs, face, trunk or genitalia. The incubation period is 6 to 8 weeks.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Painless, asymptomatic, small dome shaped bumps or papules that are flesh to pink in color.
  • These papules have a central depression or umbilication.


Avoiding skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner would be the most effective way of preventing an infection. Mutual monogamy (sexual relations with only 1 uninfected partner) is always recommended as the best way to avoid transmission of any sexually transmitted disease.


Individual lesions are self-limiting, usually lasting about 2 to 4 months; but self-inoculation typically occurs and therefore lesions may continue to recur. Therefore, in most cases, lesions are removed via cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), surgically by curette, or through the application of certain chemical agents.

How We Can Help

  • If you would like to be seen by our medical staff, please contact our Appointment Desk to schedule an appointment.
  • Also, our Advice Nurse service is available at no charge for all UC Davis students to discuss health concerns and the need for medical care.