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Dermatology/6 years slowly worsening condition




I'm an asian 20+ male. I've had these small bumps on my skin for around 6 years. They started as small colonies on certain parts of my skin but have gradually but certainly grown to cover a large part of my body.

The bumps are about 1 millimeter in diameter and usually clustered. They don't itch normally but sometimes do when damp. They started out mainly on the back of my palms and knees. Then they started showing up on my forearms around my elbow but not exactly on the inside of the elbow like eczema usually does.

Now approximately 6 years into this condition, I have these bumps everywhere from the back of my pinky and ring finger, back of my palms, around the joint of my wrist (where we feel for a pulse), the inside of my forearm around the elbow, the sides of my torso, around and inside my belly button, my penile shaft, my inner and outer thigh in isolated clusters, my knee on the outside more than inside, a little on my calves, and a lot on my ankle and foot.

I have attached two photos, one of my knee and foot, and the other a close up of the bumps on my torso (which happen to cover a quarter of my right and left torso front but not so much the back).

I would like to know what these things are and if there is a way to get rid of them since they are very visible now.

Thank you so much for taking the time to entertain my question. I really appreciate it!

It appears that you have a skin condition called Molluscum Contagiosum.
What is molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection that causes small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps may be clear, and the center often is indented. The infection is caused by a virus. The virus is easily spread but is not harmful.

What are the symptoms?
The bumps are round with a dimple in the center. They are a little smaller in size than the eraser on the end of a pencil. The bumps don't cause pain. They may appear alone or in groups. They most often appear on the trunk, face, eyelids, or genital area. The bumps may become inflamed and turn red as your body fights the virus.

People who have a weakened immune system may have dozens of larger bumps. These may need special treatment.

How does molluscum contagiosum spread?
The virus commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact. This includes sexual contact or touching the bumps and then touching the skin. Touching an object that has the virus on it, such as a towel, also can spread the infection. The virus can spread from one part of the body to another. Or it can spread to other people, such as among children at day care or school. The infection is contagious until the bumps are gone.

The time from exposure to the virus until the bumps appear usually is 2 to 7 weeks, but it can take up to 6 months.1

To prevent molluscum contagiosum from spreading:

Try not to scratch.
Put a piece of tape or a bandage over the bumps.
Do not share towels or washcloths.
If the bumps are on your face, don't shave.
If the bumps are in your genital area, avoid sexual contact.
How is it diagnosed?
Your doctor will do a physical exam and may take a sample of the bumps for testing. If you have bumps in your genital area, your doctor may check for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as genital herpes.

I would go to your local dermatologist to make sure of the diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment. Seeing pictures is not the same as looking at the skin in person so you really need to go to your dermatologist.


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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