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Molluscum contagiosum is a virus that is spread through skin-to-skin contact. It is not harmful, but does result in bumps on the skin. The virus is very common in young children who pass it to each other through casual contact. In adults, molluscum contagioscum is most often transmitted via sexual contact.
Molluscum contagiosum usually presents as a small painless bump that appears between 2 and 6 weeks after first coming into contact with the virus. The bump then grows over the course of several weeks until it is firm and raised with a dip in the center. It is typically waxy in appearance and a pinkish-white in color.
People with healthy immune systems who contract molluscum contagiosum usually find that the bumps clear up on their own within six months. Individuals with weakened immune systems, such people with the HIV virus, may find their infection to be more severe; there are treatments available.
The virus can live on clothing and on household objects such as clothing and towels making casual transmission easy.