clinical features

Last reviewed 01/2018

Molluscum contagiosum may present with pink or white shiny wax-like papules. Each of dome-shaped papules have a central pit with a white plug. The appearance of the papules may be described as pearly or flesh coloured (1). Papules are mildly pruritic or asymptomatic

Lesions are distributed in clusters on any part of the body.

  • in adults : lesions are on the lower trunk, genitalia and inner thighs
  • in children: lesions generally occur on the face, trunk, hands and feet (3)
  • in HIV patients: there is considerable facial involvement (4)

An inflammatory reaction can be seen prior to resolution of the lesion. Uncomplicated lesions usually heal without any scarring (2).

Secondary infection may occur if the lesions are scratched and result in pustule formation (3).

Larger, more widespread atypical lesions may occur in immunocompromised people (e.g. with HIV) (1).