The molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) causes a skin infection. It is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as through nonsexual contact. It can also be transmitted through objects such as clothing and towels. The symptoms consist of small lesions or bumps with dimples in the middle which may be filled with a pus-like substance. These lesions may be itchy. These usually appear on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen, and can also appear on the genitals. Diagnosis can be made by clinical evaluation of the lesions or microscopic examination of a sample taken from the lesions. MCV lesions often resolve on their own, but may persist due to autoinoculation (spreading the infection from one part of the body to another by touching lesions). Treatment involves removal of the lesions with surgery, chemicals, or cryotherapy (similar to treatment of genital warts). The risk of infection can be reduced through abstinence, mutual monogamy, and condoms and other barrier methods.