Molluscum Contagiosum

  • Mirjana V. MilinkovicEmail author
  • Ljiljana M. Medenica


Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a benign, self-limited viral disease of the skin and rarely mucous membranes caused by molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), a double-stranded DNA poxvirus. The disease mainly affects children, sexually active adults, and immunocompromised individuals. The typical lesion is a shiny, pearly white, hemispherical papule with central umbilication and an average diameter of 3–5 mm.

In immunocompetent patients MC is a benign disorder that resolves spontaneously within 6–18 months, although it may persist for as long as 5 years. Disseminated lesions, as seen in immunocompromised patients, are persistent and recurrent, and they may be a marker of advanced disease. Diagnosis of MC is usually made relatively easy on the basis of clinical presentation. Rapid freezing with ethyl chloride or liquid nitrogen may accentuate their distinctive umbilication. Therapy of MC should be undertaken in an individualized manner; a specific treatment does not exist. The treatment method should be chosen after consideration of the age and immunocompetence of the patient, the extent of the disease, and the areas involved. Treatment has focused on removing the cutaneous lesions either by surgery or by producing epidermal injury and subsequent desquamation of the molluscum and surrounding uninvolved skin.


Molluscum contagiosum Curettage Cryotherapy Cantharidin Trichloroacetic acid Imiquimod 

Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatovenereology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Clinic of Dermatovenereology, Clinical Center of SerbiaHead, Department of Dermatovenereology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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