Molluscum contagiosum simulating a sebaceous cyst: a rare presentation

Amrita Chakrabarti, Enam Murshed Khan, Asra Quadri, Biswanath Mukhopadhyay


Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection of the skin and mucous membrane that usually presents as umbilicated, flesh colored dome shaped papules and are mostly self-limiting in immune competent individuals, though extensive lesions and atypical presentations may be observed in the immune-compromised. Here we present an extremely rare incidence of MC presenting as a sebaceous cyst (SC) in the post auricular region, in a fourteen year old immune-competent male child. Though few incidences of MC within an epidermal cyst (EC) have been reported, this infection primarily presenting as a cystic lesion simulating a SC in an immune competent individual is extremely rare. Imaging findings were consistent with subcutaneous cyst in keeping with a SC, which was then treated by surgical excision. Histopathology of the surgically removed lesion revealed a cyst lined by stratified squamous epithelium containing numerous molluscum bodies. No further treatment was required since this was the only intact lesion present. 


Molluscum contagiosum, Sebaceous cyst, Immunocompetent

Full Text:



Dohil MA, Lin P, Lee J, Lucky AW, Paller AS, Eichenfield LF. The epidemiology of molluscum contagiosum in children. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54(1):47-53

Senkevich TG, Burgert JJ, Sissler J, Koonin EV, Darai G, Moss B. Genome sequence of a human tumorigenic poxvirus: prediction of specific host response evasion genes. Science. 1996;273:813-6.

Gottlieb SL, Myskowski PL. Molluscum contagiosum. Int J Dermatol. 1994;33:453-61.

Al-Hilo MM, Abbas MY, Alwan AI. A typical clinical presentation of molluscum contagiosum in Iraqi patients; clinical descriptive study. Al - Kindy Col Med J. 2012;8:18-27.

Kumar N, Okiro P, Wasike R. Cytological diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum with an unusual clinical presentation at an unusual site. J Dermatol Case Rep. 2010;4:63-5.

Ghosh P, Saha K. Molluscum contagiosum involving an epidermoid cyst: a rare association and potential source of clinical misdiagnosis. J Nepal Med Assoc. 2014;52:723-5.

Billstein SA, Mattaliano VJ. The nuisance sexually transmitted disease: Molluscum contagiosum, scabies, crab lice. Med Clin North Am. 1990;74:1487-505.

Thompson CH. Identification and typing of molluscum contagiosum virus in clinical specimens by polymerase chain reaction. J Med Virol. 1997;53:205-11.

Hanson D, Dayna GD. Molluscum contagiosum. Dermatology Online J. 2007;9:2.

Burgert JJ, Darai G. Recent advances in molluscum contagiosum virus research. Arch Virol. 1997;13:35-47.

Smith K, Yeager J, Skelton H. Molluscum contagiosum: its clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical spectrum. Int J Dermatol. 1999;38:664-72.

Vardhan P, Goel S, Goyal G, Kumar N. Solitary giant molluscum contagiosum presenting as lid tumor in an immunocompetent child. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2010;58:236-8.

Pandhi D, Singhal A. Giant molluscum contagiosum. Indian Pedia. 2005;42:488-9.

Wynnis T, Sheila F. Pox virus infection in: Fitzpatricks dermatology general medicine,.Eds: Wolff Klaus, Goldsmith Lowell, Katz Stephen, Gilchrest Barbara, Paller Amys& Leffeel David. 7th ed. 2012;4,1911-3.

Solomon L, Telner P. Eruptive molluscum contagiosum in atopic dermatitis. Can Med Assoc J. 1966;95:978-9.

Kanitakis J. Moluscum contagiosum in an epidermoid cyst. Am J Dermatopathol. 2011;33:638-40

Chiu HH, Wu CS, Chen GS, Hu SC, Hung CH, Lan CC. Molluscum contagiosum infestation in an epidermal cyst: still infectious? J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010;24:81-3.

Brown J. Childhood molluscum contagiosum. Int J Dermatol. 2006;45:93-9.

Eleftheriou BS, Kerr SC, Stratman EJ. Diagnosis of atypical molluscum contagiosum:the utility of a squash preparation. Clin Med Res. 2011;9:50-1.