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Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Molluscum Contagiosum?

  • See your health-care professional if you develop a rash suggestive of molluscum contagiosum in order to confirm the diagnosis and to discuss treatment options, if deemed necessary.
  • Sometimes the lesions can become irritated, inflamed, and secondarily infected by bacteria. If this occurs, consult a health-care professional to discuss the need for antibiotics.
  • Lesions involving the eyelids may be associated with conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and require special treatment.

What Specialists Treat Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum can generally be diagnosed and treated by your primary-care physician, such as a family physician, internist, or pediatrician. In select cases, a dermatologist or infectious-disease specialist may be consulted.

What Exams and Tests Diagnose Molluscum Contagiosum?

  • Your health-care professional can usually diagnose molluscum contagiosum based solely on its distinctive appearance. In the majority of cases, no testing is necessary.
  • If the diagnosis is uncertain or in certain cases involving individuals with a weakened immune system, a skin biopsy may be performed by your health-care professional to confirm the diagnosis. Characteristic "molluscum bodies" will be seen under the microscope in the affected skin.
  • Conditions that can mimic molluscum contagiosum include some skin cancers, warts, and other skin infections.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2017

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Descriptions of molluscum contagiosum have been in the medical literature since 1817.

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