The virus molluscum contagiosum causes molluscum warts to form on the skin, states WebMD. Molluscum contagiosum is a member of the pox family of viruses.
The molluscum virus spreads through direct contact, and it is more common in children and those with weakened immune systems, reports MedlinePlus. It also can spread through sexual contact. Symptoms are usually present for six to nine months, although they may last for several years.
Although warts usually disappear by themselves over time, doctors can also remove them by freezing, scraping or de-coring, according to MedlinePlus. Patients may also use certain medications, such as canthardin or tretinoin, to remove warts caused by the virus.
Warts caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus are small, generally painless, firm and dome-shaped, reports WebMD. They measure 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter. Warts have a white, waxy core.
Molluscum warts often manifest on the face, neck, armpits and hands, although they can be found on other parts of the body, states MedlinePlus. However, molluscum warts do not grow on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.
WebMD recommends avoiding contact with anyone who might have the virus. It also recommends treating eczema in children, as eczema can aid in the spread of the virus.