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Dermatology. 2011;222(4):314-20. doi: 10.1159/000327888. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Clinical characteristics of molluscum contagiosum in children in a private dermatology practice in the greater Paris area, France: a prospective study in 661 patients.

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Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Saint Louis, AP-HP, Inserm U717, Université Paris 7, Paris, France.



Series regarding the clinical characteristics of molluscum contagiosum (MC) are retrospective and concern small defined populations seen in a hospital setting.


We prospectively studied patients under 15 years of age with MC seen in 25 private dermatology practices in the greater Paris area during 1 year.


Six hundred fifty patients were included. The mean age was 6 years. Of the patients, 30.5% had had MC in the past, 53% had 5-20 MC, 43% had a history of atopic dermatitis (AD), 5% were using topical steroids, 25.5% had coexistent AD, 13% had giant MC (>5 mm), 21% had inflammatory MC, and 19% had MC surrounded by eczema. Bathing with siblings was associated with a higher number of MC. A history of AD was associated with the presence of MC surrounded by eczema. The use of topical steroids was associated with a higher risk of relapse. There was no relation between environmental factors (MC in surrounding people, going to the swimming pool, sports practice) and the number of lesions or between environmental factors and the number of recurrences.


Atypical lesions are frequent. Bathing with siblings is associated with a higher number of MC. Topical steroid use increases the risk of relapses. AD prevalence is higher than in the general population.

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