Which physical findings suggest molluscum contagiosum?

Updated: Aug 09, 2018
  • Author: Ashish C Bhatia, MD, FAAD, FACMS; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Other characteristics of molluscum contagiosum to consider include the following:

  • Intertriginous areas: Hundreds of lesions may develop in intertriginous areas, such as the axillae and intercrural region.

  • Atopic dermatitis: Patients with atopic dermatitis occasionally develop large numbers of lesions, which are confined to areas of lichenified skin.

  • Eczema: Approximately 10% of patients develop eczema around the lesions, with this being attributed to toxic substances produced by the virus or to a hypersensitivity reaction to the virus; eczema that is associated with molluscum lesions subsides spontaneously following removal (see the first image below).

  • Inflammatory changes: These result in suppuration, crusting, and eventual resolution of the lesion; this inflammatory stage does not usually represent secondary infection and seldom requires antibiotic therapy (see the second image below).

    Approximately 10% of patients develop eczema aroun Approximately 10% of patients develop eczema around lesions. Eczema associated with molluscum lesions spontaneously subsides following removal.
    After trauma, or spontaneously after several month After trauma, or spontaneously after several months, inflammatory changes result in suppuration, crusting and eventual resolution of the lesion. This inflammatory stage does not usually represent secondary infection and seldom requires antibiotic therapy.

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