Publication Date



Journal of Clinical and Aesthetics Dermatology


Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection that affects primarily pediatric patients, sexually active young adults, and immunocompromised people of all ages. MC occurs all over the world, making up about one percent of skin disorders and appears to be increasing in prevalence. This cutaneous infection is often associated with atopic dermatitis and is typically self-limiting, although spontaneous resolution can take months to years. Many treatments exist, but only one-a drug-device product using topical cantharidin- is approved by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of MC. For many years, there was a lack of an established or FDA-approved first-line treatment for MC, which might have contributed to the common "benign neglect" attitude of physicians regarding treatment of MC. Unfortunately, this noninterventional approach can increase risk of spreading infection and result in longer duration of infection, physical discomfort, and psychosocial issues due to persistence of the MC lesions. This article reviews available epidemiology data and explores treatment options and therapeutic gaps in MC management.



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