Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

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Who develops molluscum contagiosum?

Although molluscum contagiosum is primarily a skin condition of healthy children, it is seen in adults, though less frequently. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV infection (AIDS virus), hepatitis, chronic illnesses, cancer, systemic chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drugs like prednisone, and those on biologic immune-system-modifying drugs like infliximab (Remicade) or etanercept (Enbrel) may be more prone to developing molluscum contagiosum. Molluscum is also more common in wrestlers, people involved in contact sports, children in day care, and sexually active young adults.

What are molluscum contagiosum symptoms and signs?

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Molluscum contagiosum looks like very small (often the size of a typical pimple or pinhead), smooth flesh-colored bumps scattered on an arm or leg. A characteristic feature is a shiny, smooth, skin-colored bump with a central dell or pinhead-sized opening.

Molluscum bumps are often localized on one body area like the face or trunk, but they may also spread to multiple body areas. Often, anywhere from one to 30 very small, slightly smooth bumps are scattered on the skin. Some of the bumps may be slightly red or have an accompanying dry, itchy light-red rash indicating inflammation.

Sometimes, squeezing the molluscum bump (like a pimple) causes a small white core to pop out. People may think they just have acne and complain of new onset small red bumps and "acne" on their skin.

Skin conditions that can mimic molluscum include


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