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Understanding U.S. Healthcare Providers’ Practices and Experiences with Molluscum Contagiosum
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    Introduction

    Molluscum contagiosum is a common superficial skin infection caused by the poxvirus, Molluscum Contagiosum virus. The study objective is to obtain a better understanding of physician practices and experiences with molluscum contagiosum in order to focus informational and guidance material.

    Methods

    A cross-sectional survey to assess medical practitioners’ knowledge and practices with molluscum contagiosum was conducted using the 2009 DocStyles survey. Questions regarding category and number of molluscum contagiosum patients seen, treatments used and advice given to patients were included in the survey.

    Results

    Dermatologists saw the most cases, with the majority seeing 51–100 molluscum contagiosum cases/year. The most common cases seen were children with multiple lesions and adults with genital lesions. Respondents were most likely to recommend treatment to immunocompromised individuals, HIV patients, adults with genital lesions and children with multiple lesions. Cryotherapy was the top choice for all specialties with the exception of OB/GYNs, whose top choice was curettage. “Avoid intimate contact until lesions resolve”, “Avoid touching lesions to reduce further spread”, and “Don’t be concerned, this will go away” were the top advice choices.

    Discussion

    Most survey respondents have dealt with molluscum contagiosum in their practice during the previous year. Overall, respondents picked appropriate choices for treatment and advice given; however some ineffective or unnecessary treatments were chosen and recommendations to prevent spread were chosen infrequently. Knowledge gaps for appropriate transmission precaution advice might cause unnecessary spread or autoinoculation. This survey has demonstrated that molluscum contagiosum is a common infection seen by many types of practitioners and therefore guidance on treatment considerations and infection control is valuable.