Mollusks, also called mollusks, are among the most common skin-related skin diseases worldwide. The number of mollusc warts on the body is variable, ranging from single nodules to several hundred growths.

What are mollusc warts?

Molluscum contagiosum virus, which originates from the poxvirus family, is caused by molluscum infection. All other types of viral warts are produced by human papillomaviruses.
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Mollusc warts are benign, pinhead-to-pea-sized nodules that occur predominantly in childhood. They have a smooth, often shiny surface and are characterized by a depression in the middle, the eponymous "dent".

Mollusc warts are usually arranged in groups and can be found preferably on the upper body as well as on arms, hands and fingers. Adults are mainly affected by mollusc warts if they have eczema, cortisone therapy or immunodeficiency.

In these cases, the nodules usually occur in the genital area or on the lower abdomen. Mollusc warts are harmless, but occasionally produce itching, especially in those with dry skin.


Molluscum contagiosum virus, which originates from the poxvirus family, is caused by molluscum infection. All other types of viral warts are produced by human papillomaviruses. Thus, the mollusc warts form a special group under the warts.

The viruses invade the body via tiny injuries of the skin and multiply in the cells of the epidermis, the uppermost skin layer. These enlarge thereby and produce a proliferation, the wart.

Mollusc warts are transmitted either by direct skin contact and sexual intercourse or by smear infection. This is the infection by indirect contact, so by touching occupied with pathogens, such as towels or toys.

Colloquially, mollusc warts are also referred to as swimming pool warts, whereby professionals consider a transmission through the water for excluded. The incubation period, ie the time between the infection and the appearance of the first mollusc warts, is about two to seven weeks.

Pressing on the wart results in the exit of a granular, whitish secretion containing a large number of newly formed virus particles. If one scratched the mollusc warts, the risk of self-infection is very high, because the viruses are very quickly transferred to other areas of the skin with the fingers.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Mollusc warts do not normally cause serious discomfort. The skin elevations itch, however, and in some cases, they can cause bleeding and pain. A mollusk can be recognized by its characteristic shape. It is usually a few millimeters in size and has a small dent in the middle.

The nodule is whitish or yellowish and looks waxy. In many cases it has a smooth surface. Mollusc warts emptied under pressure, and a pulpy, usually odorless mass emerges. The skin changes can occur throughout the body. In children, mollusks occur mainly on the face, neck, and arms and hands.

In some cases, the feet or the genital area are affected. In adults, the small warts often occur in the genital area, but they can also occur on the face and in the neck and neck area. If they are scratched, it comes to severe pain and isolated to bleeding.

Mollusc warts usually form individually. Patients who suffer from a weakened immune system often have multiple mollusc warts that appear in groups and spread to different parts of the body. The skin nodules usually disappear even without treatment after a few months to years.

Diagnosis & History

Due to the characteristic appearance, the diagnosis of the mollusc warts usually causes no problems for the doctor. For final diagnostic clarification, in case of doubt, a skin sample can be taken under local anesthesia and examined in a histological examination.

In the majority of those affected, there is a spontaneous regression of the mollusc warts within six to nine months. If the mollusc warts persist longer, dermatologists recommend their removal because of the high risk of infection.


In molluscs, patients usually suffer from warts and papules. If they break up, a secretion can escape from them. The diagnosis is relatively quickly possible by the doctor because the molluscs have a very specific appearance and are therefore easy to diagnose.

Thus, the treatment can also be done early. In most cases, there are no special symptoms or complications for those affected. The warts may not necessarily be removed, but it is advisable to remove them because of their risk of infection.

In most cases, however, the symptoms return after a few months. The treatment itself can also be done directly by the patient. Only in serious cases, the doctor can remove them with the help of cold or heat treatment. They can also be dried out.

After the treatment, there are no further complaints. However, it can not be guaranteed that the mollusks will not occur again to the patient. Often they are a cosmetic problem and result in a reduced self-esteem in the patient. This is especially the case when it comes to a very large number of mollusc warts.

When should you go to the doctor?

Mollusc warts are initially a harmless viral disease. The treatment is also possible with home remedies, therefore, not every Molluscum must be examined by a doctor. However, it should also be noted that it is an infectious disease. Until it heals on its own, in most cases several years pass. For this reason, when deciding to see a doctor, the possible risk of infection should be considered. Furthermore, it must be noted that mollusc warts occur especially in children.

In principle, a doctor's visit is advisable if there are many mollusc warts. Even if the affected child has siblings or is otherwise in regular contact with other children, a doctor must be consulted. Of course, a doctor is also to visit, if the child feels impaired by the mollusc warts. Itching or pain can be relieved by a doctor. Even with an inflammation of the mollusc warts a medical treatment is necessary.

The consultation of a doctor can thus be waived if only a few mollusc warts are present, which cause no complaints and contact with other children is limited. Since this is rarely the case, it is advisable to visit the doctor most of the time.

Treatment & Therapy

With the curette, the so-called sharp spoon, you can scrape off the mollusc warts. Likewise, they can be expressed with a specially bent tweezers by the doctor. Important is the subsequent disinfection of the appropriate skin area, so that the spread of still existing viruses is prevented. For children, we recommend a pre-treatment with a locally numbing ointment for painless removal of the mollusc warts.

In cryotherapy, mollusc warts are frozen by an applicator that is very cold with liquid nitrogen or another refrigerant, destroying the diseased tissue. The laser process does not work with cold, but heat: Here, the diseased tissue is evaporated at temperatures of up to 300 degrees.

It is also possible to treat the mollusc warts with drying and peeling solutions, usually vitamin A acid is the crucial component. Furthermore, a salizylsäurehaltiges patch can be glued to soften the mollusc warts.

However, after a successful treatment as well as after a spontaneous cure, mollusc warts can appear again.

Outlook & Forecast

The mollusc warts have a good healing prospect. In people with a healthy immune system, the warts often heal without treatment even within several months. After an average of six to nine months is often a complaint.

In some cases, a recovery of the mollusc warts without the use of medical care occurs only after several years. This is usually related to the strength of the body's defense system. With a medical treatment, the healing process is shortened immensely. The warts are usually iced and fall off after a few days or weeks. If no further complications or wounds occur, then a recovery is given.

Patients with dry skin or skin diseases should undergo treatment. This is especially true for atopic dermatitis patients. They are at an increased risk that the mollusc warts continue to spread on the body and lead to complications. Spontaneous healing usually does not occur in these patients. Despite the generally very good prognosis, the warts can develop again at any time. This applies to patients who do not seek treatment as well as people who seek treatment. If you reoccur, the prospects do not change.


To prevent mollusc warts, it is advisable not to share toiletries such as towels or washcloths with other family members. It is also advisable to strengthen the immune system, be it through a balanced diet or through regular physical activity.

People affected by eczema tend to be more susceptible to mollusc warts. You should be careful to regularly use a fatty cream to stabilize the natural skin barrier. If there are already molluscas available, however, lotion should be dispensed with in order to prevent their transfer.


After the mollusc treatment a consistent professional aftercare is essential. Patients should contact their dermatologist, who can prescribe cooling ointments and other preparations, effectively contributing to complication-free healing of the wounds. Regular medical examinations are not necessary with isolated molluscs.

As long as the wound heals without complications after the removal of the wart, annual routine examinations are sufficient. In case of inflammation and other complications the doctor should be consulted. In that case a closer monitoring of the patient may be necessary. In cases where close monitoring is necessary, the doctor can decide on the basis of a detailed examination of the wart.

Thus, bleeding or inflammation indicate that there are still pathogens in the blood that need to be treated with antibiotics. Such antibiotic treatment may take several weeks to months, depending on the course of recovery. Basically, a good observation of the affected skin area is necessary for mollusc warts.

Targeted follow-up care is necessary if the mollusc warts occur in the course of a serious skin disease or have already occurred again. Then, if necessary, another specialist should be involved, so that a different treatment approach can be tried with an individually tailored aftercare.

You can do that yourself

Mollusc warts do not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. In most cases, the skin lesions can be treated with some home remedies and measures.

First, the warts can be covered with a plaster. After one week, the tissue should be softened and then removed with pumice or emery paper. For best results, this procedure should be repeated weekly for a period of two to three months.

A faster effect is said to be apple cider vinegar or garlic, which are also applied directly to the mollusc wart. Oily plants and herbs as well as Podophyllum and other plant extracts can quickly dissolve warts. In addition, methods such as icing or cauterization of the wart can be used. Less painful is a curettage in which the wart is scraped off with the help of a special instrument.

To prevent the wart from becoming inflamed, the affected area should be washed regularly. For this purpose, special care products from the pharmacy, but also simple tap water leaches out the harmful pathogens. If these measures do not achieve the desired effect, you must go to the doctor with a Dell warts.

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