|Educational/Dermatology - Molluscum Contagiosum: a skin infection with late diagnosis |
Molluscum Contagiosum: a skin infection with late diagnosis
What is it
Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a DNA virus belonging to the Pox virus family and transmitted by direct or indirect contact such as sharing towels, bathrobes, gym equipment, etc..
What does it look like
The first lesion is a 2-6 mm diameter plain papule, depressed in the center. Other smaller papules originate from this first lesion nearby. Molluscum Contagiosum does not give symptoms and this is the main reason why the diagnosis is delayed.
How to recognize it
The papules are skin-color with shiny appearance and spread rapidly increasing in number. The fact that lesions increase rapidly should be prognostic for an infection.
Who gets affected
Children and adults are the two categories of persons affected by Molluscum Contagiosum. In children, Molluscum Contagiosum are distributed mainly on the face, trunk and limbs, less frequently in the genital area; in adults are almost exclusively located in the genital area.
Is Molluscum Contagiosum frequent
Molluscum Contagiosum are a common form of skin infection in children and adults; this infection has been rapidly increasing in recent years.
How does the infection occur
As the name implies, Molluscum Contagiosum is a highly contagious disease. Among children it is spread by direct contact with playground games, especially in the age of kindergarten. In adults, the primary route of infection is sexual intercourse.
The duration of infection
Molluscum Contagiosum usually regress spontaneously once a state of specific immunity is established. Unfortunately they may be present, spread and be contagious to others for two to three years. For this reason treatment and elimination of lesions is recommended.
The treatment varies depending on the case, child or adult, and the number of lesions.
The importance of early diagnosis
Molluscum Contagiosum spreads rapidly in tens and hundreds of lesions making therapeutic treatment complex. Early recognition of the first papules as Molluscum Contagiosum is of great importance both for the treatment and for restraint of the infection to others. (see photo gallery)