Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a common skin problem caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. MC causes one or more lesions or bumps on the skin and looks something like warts or pimples. It is a common problem in children but can also occur in adults.
MC is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), a member of the poxvirus family. It can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, especially during sexual activity that involves friction and skin irritation. MCV is more likely to cause skin lesions in people with compromised immune systems, although many adults with healthy immune systems can develop MC.
MC does not progress to more serious diseases, such as cancer. However, MC skin lesions can be bothersome and disfiguring.