Molluscum contagiosum (pediatric) in Child
Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection of childhood caused by a DNA poxvirus. It is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, through fomites, or from autoinoculation. There is an increased incidence in children with underlying atopic dermatitis, swimmers, children who bathe together, those who share towels, and immunosuppressed people.
The exact incubation period is unknown but is estimated to be between 2 and 6 weeks. Though self-limited, the infection is often chronic and can range from a few months to 4 years before disappearing.
Molluscum can be found anywhere on the body. Genital involvement does not absolutely imply sexual transmission, as molluscum may be autoinoculated from a nongenital site to the genital area. A thorough history will direct suspicion for sexual abuse in these cases.
B08.1 – Molluscum contagiosum
40070004 – Molluscum contagiosum
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Herpes simplex
- Flat warts
- Chickenpox (varicella zoster infection)
- Milia – pinpoint white papules
- Sebaceous hyperplasia in the newborn
- Lobular capillary hemangioma (pyogenic granuloma)
- Lichen planus – flat-topped purple polygonal papules
- Folliculitis manifests as follicularly centered red pustules.