Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection in children. It causes bumps on the skin including the eyelids and eyelid margins (ocular molluscum). The bumps are usually pearl-like and dome-shaped with a central crater (umbilication) [See figures 1].
The appearance of the bumps is characteristic; thus, the diagnosis is usually clinical. If surgical excision is done, a pathologist can confirm the diagnosis from a tissue sample.
Molluscum can usually be distinguished from warts (verruca vulgaris), chicken pox (varicella), and papilloma (usually in the middle-aged and the elderly) by its typical appearance.
Yes. Molluscum can spread by direct contact.
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that occurs most commonly in children and in patients whose immune system is weakened (immune-compromised).
No. Molluscum is a benign disorder. If the lid margin is affected, children may have a red eye.
Molluscum lesions will go away over time but can take several years to resolve. Surgical removal, incision and curettage, or cryotherapy can eliminate molluscum lesions, but they can recur. In young children, removal usually requires general anesthesia.
Treatment is not mandatory but is appropriate to reduce transmission to others, the spread of the lesions from one part of the body to another (autoinoculation), and scarring from frequent scratching.
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