How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?

How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?

How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?

Molluscum contagiosum is typically diagnosed through a physical examination as the symptoms of the condition are easily recognisable. This makes the diagnostic process a relatively simple one for your doctor to perform.

In some cases, your doctor may conduct a tissue scraping or skin biopsy in order to have a definitive diagnosis. This is normally done by a specialist in the field of the causes and effects of diseases regarding the study of samples taken of the body tissues.

These tests are sometimes beneficial in order to distinguish MC (molluscum contagiosum) from other similar conditions such as:

  • HPV (human papillomavirus infection) This is an infection that results in warts on a number of areas on the body. The areas affected will depend on the strain of the virus. The strain of HPV that results in genital warts is the most common form of STI (sexually transmitted infection).
  • Folliculitis – This refers to an infection of the pickets of the skin in which the hair grows. These are known as follicles.
  • Hives – This is a skin rash that is often triggered as an allergic reaction to medicine, food or other substances that can lead to an allergic reaction.


What kind of specialist will diagnose and treat molluscum contagiosum?

A general practitioner or paediatrician will typically diagnose and treat molluscum contagiosum. However, in some cases, specialists such as infectious-disease specialists, dermatologists or pathologists may be involved when the diagnosis and treatment are more complicated.

If your doctor thinks that the infection may be the result of another condition apart from molluscum contagiosum, they may:

  • Take a biopsy (this is a sample of the infected skin) to test this for the presence of the virus.
  • Test for HPV.

Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist if any of the below conditions are present:

  • Spots on the eyelids or near the eye or if your eye is painful and red
  • HIV with severe symptoms
  • Immunosuppression (this is a weakened immune system from treatment such as chemotherapy or another underlying medical condition)
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