Molluscum contagiosum, water warts, what it

Water warts are small, skin-colored or pink raisedlesions, often seen with a little dimple in themiddle. They are caused by a virus.

What is molluscum contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum (MC), also known as water warts, is caused by a virus. It is not considered a venereal disease.

Water warts are small, skin-colored or pink raised lesions, often seen with a little dimple in the middle.

In adults, the warts are often located in the genital area, the thighs or on the lower part of the abdomen.

How is MC transmitted?

MC is caused by infection with a virus that is transmitted via close physical contact. MC is very common among small children. In adults, the infection is usually caused by intimate contact or sexual intercourse. It can take 2-8 weeks from exposure to development of visible warts.

How is MC treatment managed?

The warts will eventually disappear even without treatment, but we recommend treatment since MC is infectious, and since it often takes several months before the spontaneous remission.

Several treatment options exist:

  • Cryotherapy (freezing) with liquid nitrogen every two weeks.
  • Curettage (scraping)
  • Application of Molusk, a solution with 10% potassium hydroxide (home treatment)


Repetitive treatment can be necessary as new warts may appear.

How do you avoid infecting others?

As long as you have visible warts, we recommend that you:

  • Avoid shaving of the affected area
  • Avoid scratching or scraping
  • Hand sanitation after touching the warts
  • Do not share a towel with others


Use a condom during sexual intercourse if the water warts are located in the genital area.

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