A clinical study of molluscum contagiosum in adults

Yeon Sook Kwon, Boncheol Goo, Sang Ho Oh, Kwang Hoon Lee, Ju Hee Lee

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Abstract

Background: Molluscum contagiosum is a common cutaneous viral infection of the skin. Although molluscum contagiosum generally affects young children, the incidence in adults is rising. Objective: The purpose of our investigation was to describe the clinical characteristics of 28 adults with biopsyproven molluscum contagiosum. Methods: We reviewed the medical records and clinical photographs of 28 patients who were diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum from June 2000 to May 2007. Personal and clinical information such as onset, age, gender distribution, clinical manifestations, associated diseases, pathologic characteristics and treatment modalities were investigated. Results: Of the 28 patients, 19 (67.9%) were men and 9 (32.1%) were women. The average age of onset in men and women were 39.4 and 46.4 years, respectively and the overall average age of onset was 41.7 years. The most common clinical finding was a typical umblicated papule in 10 (35.7%) of the 28 cases. The atypical presentations including giant molluscum, chickenpox-like lesions, prurigo-like lesions and verruca-like lesions were also seen. The most common affected site was the genital area, followed by the head and neck, extremities and trunk. Except for the 21 asymptomatic patients, 7 patients complained of pruritus. Seropositive ELISA assays for HIV was found in 1 patient. Five patients were under immunosuppressive conditions such as HIV infection, sarcoidosis, taking immunosuppressant drugs after liver transplantation, chemotherapy for breast cancer and chemotherapy for gastric cancer. Molluscum bodies were confirmed in all patients through histologic findings. Molluscum extraction was mainly used as a treatment of molluscum contagiosum. Conclusion: In Korean literature, this is the first clinical study of molluscum contagiosum occurring in adults. Molluscum contagiosum in adults shows atypical clinical features, so it can be misdiagnosed as other diseases. We suggest that dermatologists should perceive clinical findings of molluscum contagiosum in adults and perform proper investigation and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages8
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Volume46
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology

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