Molluscum Contagiosum During Pregnancy: Causes And Symptoms

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A poxvirus (known as molluscum contagiosum virus) causes the infection Molluscum contagiosum. Molluscum contagiosum during pregnancy may cause varied symptoms such as skin issues, white sores around your face, and the spores spread to other regions of your body.

Read this post to know about molluscum contagiosum in pregnancy, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection caused by the virus Molluscum Contagiosum . The virus, or the molluscum virus, produces bumps on the upper layer of the skin which can be smooth, shinny, and fleshy.

Causes Of Molluscum Contagiosum During Pregnancy

Here are some of the common causes of Molluscum contagiosum:

1. Skin Contact:

The infection spreads through skin contact. Avoid skin contact with an infected person.. The virus survives on the surfaces and comes in contact with the skin of a person infected with Molluscum virus. The virus can spread by sharing towels, toys, utensils etc.

2. Sexual Contact:

Adults are more likely to be infected by a viral infection through sexual contact.

3. Sharing Your Personal Belongings With An Infected Person:

You can contract the disease if you share towels, clothes and other items with an infected person. The virus survives on surfaces of objects and contaminates them too. So, sterilize all surfaces and clothes to stay away from this infection.

Symptoms Of Molluscum Contagiosum During Pregnancy

If you are suffering from Molluscum infection during gestation, then you will notice a small group of painless lesions that exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. Shiny, smooth and small in appearance.
  1. The color varies from white to pink to flesh-colored.
  1. Some of them are dome-shaped.
  1. The core of these lesions contains wax-like material.
  1. They appear all over the body, the face, abdomen, torso, arms, and legs.
  1. They also appear in the abdomen and genital areas.

Treating Molluscum Contagiosum While Pregnant

If you contract lesions around the genital area (on or near the vulva, vagina, or anus), seek immediate medical attention, as lesions in these areas could lead to many complications. Some treatment methods for Molluscum contagiosum pregnancy include:

Topical Therapy

Some options for topical therapy are as follows:

1. Cryotherapy:

It is the process of freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen. You will need several sessions of cryotherapy to remove the scars completely.

2. Laser therapy:

The technique involves using a powerful beam of light to destroy the cells that cause the spots. The treated area becomes discolored. However, the skin regains its normal color. But, you will have to undergo a couple of laser therapy sessions to get rid of scars completely.

3. Diathermy:

The process uses heat to remove the spots. The doctor will give you local anesthesia to numb the area. Later on a heated electrical device is used to burn off the spots.

4. Curettage:

It is the process of removing the spots by piercing with a metal or curette. The doctor will place you under local anesthesia during the treatment.

These options can, however, result in post-procedural pain, irritation, and scarring.

A Few Other Treatment Options

Avoid scratching the affected area. Scratching or scraping the affected skin could cause a bacterial infection. Scratching also increases the risk of spreading the infection. You can use some other treatment options like:

  • Iodine
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Tretinoin
  • Cantharidin
  • Imiquimod (T-cell modifier) (1)

Here is a word of caution for all you new mommies-to-be. Podophyllotoxin cream (0.5%) is not good for pregnant women because of presumed toxicity to the fetus, so do not use it. Before opting for any of these treatment options; do consult your doctor. Also, treat each lesion individually as the therapeutic effect is localized.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a baby be born with molluscum contagiosum?

Yes, a baby can be born with molluscum contagiosum. The infection transmits from the mother to the fetus in the uterus or through the vagina during birth (2).

2. What can be mistaken for molluscum contagiosum?

The symptoms of molluscum contagiosum can often be confused with herpes, genital warts, or bacterial furuncles due to the appearance and location of the lesions (3) (4).

Molluscum contagiosum during pregnancy is a contagious viral skin infection that can spread through skin-to-skin contact. It can cause itchy lesions to appear anywhere on the skin that tends to self-resolve with time. However, you should seek prompt medical guidance if the lesions appear around the genital area. Cryotherapy, laser therapy, and curettage are some of the treatment modalities that your doctor can suggest. However, these procedures may cause pain, irritation, and scarring. Topical use of salicylic acid, iodine, and potassium hydroxide is another option you can try after consulting the doctor.


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Dr. Prachi Benara

Dr. Prachi Benara has over a decade of experience as an infertility specialist. Having done her graduation and postgraduation in India, Dr. Prachi trained in reproductive medicine and IVF in the UK. In addition to a one-year PG diploma, she worked as an observer in the Oxford University Hospitals and trained in IUI, ultrasound, and embryo transfer at the British... more

Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.