Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Nili N. Alai, MD, FAAD
Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Molluscum contagiosum facts
- What is molluscum contagiosum? What causes molluscum contagiosum?
- Who develops molluscum contagiosum?
- What are molluscum contagiosum symptoms and signs?
- How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I treat the accompanying rash with molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I treat the persistent skin discoloration after molluscum contagiosum?
- Why do I keep getting more molluscum bumps where I shave?
- What are possible complications of molluscum contagiosum?
- What is the prognosis with molluscum contagiosum?
- How do I prevent molluscum contagiosum?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are possible complications of molluscum contagiosum?
Complications are infrequent since molluscum is usually a self-limited skin condition. Rarely, the bumps may enlarge, causing an abscess (furuncle or carbuncle) or painful cysts requiring minor surgical drainage. Eczema or skin irritation around the molluscum areas, particularly in people with a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis, is common. Deeper or more extensive skin infections called cellulitis can be a rare complication.
Another potential complication includes temporary skin discoloration called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation (lighter than the regular skin color in the affected area) or hyperpigmentation (darker then the regular skin color in the affected). This altered skin color may occur after the inflamed red bumps have improved or after certain treatments. Permanent scarring is uncommon but may occur from picking, overly aggressive treatments, scrubbing, or other deep inflammation.
What is the prognosis with molluscum contagiosum?
The prognosis is very good. Overall, molluscum contagiosum tends to be an easily treated and curable skin disease. Molluscum contagiosum may clear on its own without treatment over a few months to years.
How do I prevent molluscum contagiosum?
Prevention efforts include
- practicing good skin hygiene,
- avoiding skin contact with infected individuals,
- avoiding unsanitary hot tubs and public pools, and
- not sharing razors, towels, or clothing with others.
Lee, Robert, and Robert A. Schwartz. "Pediatric Molluscum Contagiosum: Reflections on the Last Challenging Poxvirus Infection, Part 1." Pediatric Dermatology 86 Nov. 2010: 230-236.
Lee, Robert, and Robert A. Schwartz. "Pediatric Molluscum Contagiosum: Reflections on the Last Challenging Poxvirus Infection, Part 2." Pediatric Dermatology 86 Nov. 2010: 287-292.
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