Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin condition in children, characterized by
small, dome-shaped, flesh-colored papules with a central indentation. It occurs
anywhere on the body, especially the trunk, axilla, and elbow creases, but spares the
palms and soles. The lesions are caused by a poxvirus that is easily transmittable
via close contact with an infected person, or it can spread to different body areas
via scratching. In adult patients, the virus may be transmitted sexually, resulting in
lesions surrounding the groin.
- Localized outbreaks consist of firm papules with a shiny appearance and central dimpling
- Typically 2-5mm in diameter
- Common in school-aged children due to easy transmission via close contact
- May develop molluscum dermatitis, which is the appearance of eczematous patches surrounding the molluscum papules; this disappears upon resolution of the virus
- In immunocompromised patients, the viral infection may be extensive, even forming “giant mollusca”.
- While the virus typically resolves spontaneously, treatment prevents auto-inoculation and further spread to others
- Topical treatments: cantharidin, podophyllotoxin, imiquimod
- If the patient is tolerant, they may be manually extruded or treated with curettage or cryotherapy
- Topical antiseptics or antibiotics for secondarily infected molluscum
- In HIV patients, recalcitrant molluscum contagiousum will resolve with highly active anti-retroviral therapy
If you have a patient in need of specialized evaluation or treatment for a suspicious skin lesion, call Sunflower Dermatology & Medical Day Spa
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AT SUNFLOWER DERMATOLOGY – KANSAS CITY
Treatments are performed by Licensed Aestheticians overseen by Board-Certified Dermatologists at both our Riverside and St. Joseph, MO Locations.