Molluscum Vs. Seed Wart

Updated April 17, 2017

Knowing the difference between Molluscum Contagiosum and the common seed wart is vital when determining lifestyle choices and treatment options. Discover aspects of the skin ailment such as length of infection, degree of contagiousness and if it is necessary to visit a physician.

Molluscum Contagiosum

This virus of the pox family causes small shiny bumps, especially those who have eczema or dry skin, according to Bay Oaks Dermatology. It is possible to be transmitted sexually, as infection can happen due to contact with the bumps. The bumps are small and round with a waxy appearance, with larger bumps often containing a pit. When the bumps become red and swollen it is indicative that they are going away.

Common Warts and Plantar Warts

Common warts will often appear on the fingers, hands, palms, legs and face, according to Web MD. These warts are often referred to as seed warts due to the appearance of black dots under the skin of the wart. The seeds are actually blood vessels that feed the survival of the wart, which is what allows the wart to reappear if not appropriately treated. Scratching, shaving, or itching the wart can cause it to spread. A plantar wart is a deeply embedded wart often found on the sole of the foot. It often prevents or inhibits walking and can be painful.

Flat Worts and Genital Warts

Flat warts tend to form on the legs, arms or face and are smaller than the eraser on a pencil. They are flesh coloured and usually grow in a quick flush. Sometimes they can also take on a light yellow, pink or light brown colour, according to Web MD. Genital warts are often, but not always, sexually transmitted. The symptoms can range from nothing to burning and itching. These type of warts often require treatment from a doctor, as some can lead to cancer.


The treatments for Molluscum and seed warts varies from physical to chemical. The chemical treatments include Cantharidin, Imiquimod, Salicylic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Podophyllin, and Candida and Mumps Antigen. The physical treatments include freezing with liquid nitrogen and a process known as Electrodessication, where an electric needle burns the wart and is then scraped off.

Often treatment is not necessary except in specific cases when the case is severe and reoccurs often.

Difference Between Warts and Molloscum Contagiosum

A wart is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) while Molloscum is caused by a member of the pox family. In Molloscum, an individual wart disappears within 2-3 months, while the case typically disappears after 6-18 months, according to the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission. It also typically causes several bumps, while warts spread slowly with many experiencing only one wart at a time. Be sure to have a bump checked out by a doctor if it lasts for a long period of time, as it could be cancer.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Samuel Sohlden began his freelance writing career in 2007. His work appears on various websites, with articles focusing on science and health. In 2010 he attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif. Sohlden is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Cincinnati.