Molluscum Contagiosum


Molluscum Contagiosum is a common pox virus infection of the skin.  Most infections resolve spontaneously within a year to 18 months.

  • Flesh coloured or pink papules with umbilicated centre


  • Eczema around molluscum contagiosum


  • Inflamed lesions (can be prior to resolution)



It is a  common acquired infection of childhood.

 In the majority of cases no treatment is required as spontaneous resolution occurs.

Treatment can increase the chance of scarring and should be reserved for adults, older children and problematic lesions.

  • Avoid sharing of towels and sponges to prevent spread
  • Topical antiseptic may minimise secondary infection
  • Topical potassium hydroxide cream or paint is available as a medical device
  • Consider topical salicylic acid gel for non-facial lesions (do not use on facial lesions)
  • Squeeze lesions with tweezers after bathing then apply antiseptic cream
  • Cryotherapy (avoid in young children)
  • Eczema around molluscum: treat with emollients, or mild topical steroid.
  • Diagnostic uncertainty.
  • Extensive, painful, inflamed lesions.
  • Immunosuppressed patients.
  • If widespread or anogenital in adults consider referral to genitourinary medicine for infection screening
Therapeutic Tips
  • Topical hydrogen peroxide cream can be used but this is an off license indication.
  • Anogenital molluscum contagiosum can be treated with podophyllotoxin paint once weekly but this is an off license indication
Patient Information