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Molluscum Contagiosum

Dawn M. Davis, MD, MPH Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

Molluscum contagiosum is a common, benign, viral (poxvirus) skin infection, characterized by small (2 to 5 mm), waxy white or flesh-colored, dome-shaped papules often with central um...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Contact with known infected person

  • Participation in contact sports

  • Sexual activity

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Perform thorough skin exam including conjunctiva and anogenital area.

  • Discrete, firm papule...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • In healthy patients, molluscum contagiosum is generally self-limited and resolves spontaneously; therefore, treatment is optional (1)[A].

  • No single intervention is shown to be...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

Depends on type of treatment 

PATIENT EDUCATION

  • Cover lesions to prevent spread.

  • Avoid scratching to prevent autoinoculation.

  • Avoid sharing towels a...

REFERENCES

1
van der Wouden JC, van der Sande R, Kruithof EJ, et al. Interventions for cutaneous molluscum contagiosum. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.  2017;(5):CD004767.
2
Vakharia PP, Chopra R, Silve...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Basdag H, Rainer BM, Cohen BA. Molluscum contagiosum: to treat or not to treat? Experience with 170 children in an outpatient clinic setting in the northeastern United States. Pedia...

CODES

ICD10

B08.1 Molluscum contagiosum 

ICD9

078.0 Molluscum contagiosum 

SNOMED

40070004 Molluscum contagiosum infection 

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Observation is preferred treatment in healthy patients as lesions will spontaneously resolve.

  • Reassure parents that lesions will heal naturally and generally resolve without scarring.

  • No...

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