Molluscum Contagiosum

  • Francesco Lacarrubba
  • Anna Elisa Verzì
  • Franco Dinotta
  • Giuseppe Micali


Molluscum contagiosum is a common, highly contagious cutaneous infection due to a Poxvirus. Dermatoscopy of molluscum contagiosum reveals multiple, yellowish-white, lobulated, amorphous central structures surrounded by a crown of linear, fine, and sometimes blurred vessels, while some of them branching. Large lesions are characterized by the presence of the typical polylobular structure, whereas small ones by four-leaved clover-like structures. Dermatoscopy may be useful for the differential diagnosis with cysts, acne, warts, and other cutaneous and/or genital growths.


Molluscum contagiosum Viral infection Umbilicated papule Henderson-Patterson bodies Polylobular structure 


  1. 1.
    Janniger CK, Schwartz RA (1993) Molluscum contagiosum in children. Cutis 52:194–196PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brown J, Janniger CK, Schwartz RA, Silverberg NB (2006) Childhood molluscum contagiosum. Int J Dermatol 45:93–99CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Braue A, Ross G, Varigos G, Kelly H (2005) Epidemiology and impact of childhood molluscum contagiosum: a case series and critical review of the literature. Pediatr Dermatol 22:287–294CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Silverberg NB, Sidbury R, Mancini AJ (2000) Childhood molluscum contagiosum: experience with cantharidin therapy in 300 patients. J Am Acad Dermatol 43:503–507CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Connell CO, Oranje A, Van Gysel D, Silverberg NB (2008) Congenital molluscum contagiosum: report of four cases and review of the literature. Pediatr Dermatol 25:553–556CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson CH (1999) Molluscum contagiosum: new perspectives on an old virus. Curr Opin Infect Dis 12:185–189CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Husar K, Skerlev M (2002) Molluscum contagiosum from infancy to maturity. Clin Dermatol 20(2):170–172Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alam MS, Shrirao N (2016) Giant molluscum contagiosum presenting as lid neoplasm in an immunocompetent child. Dermatol Online J 22(1.) pii: 13030/qt56v567gnGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chatterjee S, Banerjee M, Bhattacharya S (2015) Giant molluscum contagiosum: an unusual presenting complaint of paediatric HIV disease. Trop Dr 45:148–150Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lacarrubba F, Verzì AE, Ardigò M, Micali G (2017) Handheld reflectance confocal microscopy for the diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum: histopathology and dermoscopy correlation. Australas J Dermatol 58(3):e123–e125. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lacarrubba F, Verzì AE, Dinotta F et al (2015) Dermatoscopy in inflammatory and infectious skin disorders. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 150:521–531PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haliasos EC, Kerner M, Jaimes-Lopez N et al (2013) Dermoscopy for the pediatric dermatologist part I: dermoscopy of pediatric infectious and inflammatory skin lesions and hair disorders. Pediatr Dermatol 30:163–171CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ku SH, Cho EB, Park EJ et al (2015) Dermoscopic features of molluscum contagiosum based on white structures and their correlation with histopathological findings. Clin Exp Dermatol 40:208–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ianhez M, Cestari Sda C, Enokihara MY, Seize MB (2011) Dermoscopic patterns of molluscum contagiosum: a study of 211 lesions confirmed by histopathology. An Bras Dermatol 86:74–79CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Lacarrubba
    • 1
  • Anna Elisa Verzì
    • 1
  • Franco Dinotta
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Micali
    • 1
  1. 1.Dermatology ClinicUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly

Personalised recommendations