Molluscum Contagiosum (cont.)

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What are possible complications of molluscum contagiosum?

Complications are infrequent since molluscum is usually a self-limited skin condition. Rarely, the bumps may enlarge, causing an abscess (furuncle or carbuncle) or painful cysts requiring minor surgical drainage. Eczema or skin irritation around the molluscum areas, particularly in people with a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis, is common. Deeper or more extensive skin infections called cellulitis can be a rare complication.

Another potential complication includes temporary skin discoloration called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation (lighter than the regular skin color in the affected area) or hyperpigmentation (darker then the regular skin color in the affected). This altered skin color may occur after the inflamed red bumps have improved or after certain treatments. Permanent scarring is uncommon but may occur from picking, overly aggressive treatments, scrubbing, or other deep inflammation.

What is the prognosis with molluscum contagiosum?

The prognosis is very good. Overall, molluscum contagiosum tends to be an easily treated and curable skin disease. Molluscum contagiosum may clear on its own without treatment over a few months to years.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/15/2014

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