Common skin infections in children: Molluscum contagiosum and viral warts
In the first a two part series about children's skin infections, Michael J Sladden and Graham A Johnston give an evidence based approach to the diagnosis and treatment of viral infections
- By: Michael J Sladden, Graham A Johnston
Most children will have a skin infection at some time. Skin infections are a common reason for consultation, both in primary care and in dermatology practice.123 We review two common viral skin infections in children and describe their epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment, focusing on treatments with best evidence.
Molluscum contagiosum is a common, benign, self limiting viral infection of the skin. It generally affects children and is caused by a human specific poxvirus. Infection is rare in children less than 1 year of age and typically occurs in the 2-5 year age group.4 Although the prevalence of molluscum contagiosum is not known, one of six Dutch children have visited their doctor for the condition.5
Infection follows autoinoculation or contact with affected people.6 The incubation period is from two weeks to six months. The condition is more common in young children and in children who swim, bathe together, and who