Acquired through skin-to-skin or fomite contact in children and is sexually transmitted in adulthood.
Lesions appear as umbilicated, pearl-like, smooth papules. At least one third of patients will develop symptoms of local erythema, swelling or pruritus.
Diagnosis is usually clinical.
Children are primarily managed conservatively. Adults should be treated for this STD with curettage, cryotherapy or cantharidin. However, available treatment options are the same for both.
Complications relate to treatment; discomfort, secondary infection of the wound or scarring may occur.
This condition is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus, a ubiquitous poxvirus that escapes immune destruction for months to years. Lesions are cutaneous (less commonly mucosal). They appear as pearl-like, smooth papules, which are umbilicated. The histologic equivalent of epidermal collections of molluscum bodies is referred to as Henderson-Patterson bodies; virally infected keratinocytes with a central orifice. Lesions are generally caused via skin-to-skin or fomite contact in children and by sexual transmission in adults. 
Beth Israel Medical Center
Clinical Professor of Dermatology
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York City
NBS declares that she has no competing interests.
Director of Cosmetic Dermatology
Department of Dermatology
Cosmetic and Procedural Dermatology
Henry Ford Health System
DMO declares that he has no competing interests.
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
VA Medical Center
AB declares that she has no competing interests.
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