This is a harmless skin condition caused by a virus
How does it show itself?
The virus causes spots to appear on the skin. They are usually small, pink or flesh
coloured and can sometimes have a small dimple in the centre. When touching them they can
Are they common?
How do I get them?
The virus is passed on by close body contact including sexual contact. It may be
possible to get them from towels and clothing. It is therefore not unusual for other
family members to get them or groups of children in a school class or nursery.
From the time from coming into contact with the virus to developing spots varies from
approximately two weeks to three months and they may not all appear at the same time.
Can they be treated?
They can be treated with a cold spray called cryotherapy which freezes them off but
this can cause scarring and therefore many doctors advise they be left alone. Eventually
they should disappear. If treated you will usually be advised to come again after your
first visit to the clinic so that we can see that they have been treated successfully and
that no other spots have developed. You may need more than one treatment. Often they
disappear without treatment.
Any sexual partner is welcome to attend a clinic and it would be preferable to avoid
sexual contact until the spots have cleared although this is not essential.