What education about molluscum contagiosum should be provided to patients?

Updated: Aug 09, 2018
  • Author: Ashish C Bhatia, MD, FAAD, FACMS; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Before attempting any therapy, educate the patient or parents in-depth about the diagnosis, prognosis, risk of autoinoculation or infection of others, therapeutic options, and risks of therapy. [15, 16] More than 1 treatment session is frequently required. Providing this information at the first clinical visit is particularly important when treating benign lesions, such as those of molluscum contagiosum and common warts. A few extra minutes of explanation at this stage can prevent or mitigate numerous problems and questions during later visits. [17]

When lesions fail to respond to initial therapy, a temptation to be overzealous in treatment may occur. Patients and families are more understanding and less likely to demand aggressive therapy when reasonable goals and limitations of therapy are thoroughly discussed.

Stress the benign nature of this ubiquitous disease to the patient and his or her parents. Limiting physical contact with infected areas of skin and good handwashing may reduce transmission. Instruct the patient to avoid scratching, which may result in autoinoculation.

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