Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that affects the top layers of the skin. It is found throughout the world but it is more common in places with warm, humid climates.
The symptoms may appear in two weeks after someone catches the virus but may take as long as six months.
At first, an infected person will have tiny, painless bumps on the skin. After many weeks, the bumps grow to be firm, pinkish-white, raised and doughnut-shaped.
In children, the bumps often appear on the face, body, legs and arms. The infection can be spread to the genital area by scratching. In adults, the bumps can be found anywhere on the body.
This infection is most common in children under ten years of age, but anyone can catch it. It can be severe in people with an immune system problem.
It also spreads when someone scratches the bumps and then scratches another part of the body.
A doctor can examine the skin to find out if a child has Molluscum contagiosum. The bumps usually go away without treatment in two to six months. In some cases, they may last for years. A doctor may prescribe medicine to stop the bumps from spreading.