Molluscum contagiosum: This common skin disease causes bumps on the skin and tends to be harmless.
Molluscum (muh-luhs-kum) contagiosum (kən-tā-jē-ō-səm) is a common skin disease. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from person to person. Scratching or picking at these bumps can spread the virus from one part of your body to another.
People can get molluscum by sharing towels and clothing. Wrestlers and gymnasts may get it from touching infected mats. Skin-to-skin contact also spreads the virus.
Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. These bumps can appear anywhere on the skin.
Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. If a person has a weakened immune system, many bumps often appear. People who have AIDS can have 100 or more bumps.
Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscum contagiosum is contagious.
Learn more about molluscum contagiosum: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.