A Scaly Periorbital Rash in a Preschool-aged Boy

Jennifer Smitten, MD, FRCPC,1 Joseph M Lam, MD, FRCPC,2

1BC Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, BC.
2Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Associate Member, Department of Dermatology, University of British Columbia, BC.


Abstract: A healthy 4-year-old boy presented with an 8-month history of a pruritic scaly eruption around his right eye associated with several small pearly papules on the face. A clinical diagnosis of an eczematous id reaction to molluscum contagiosum was made. While up to 40% of cases of molluscum contagiosum may have an associated eczematous dermatitis, these are often under-recognized or misdiagnosed.
Key Words: Pediatrics, Dermatology, Dermatitis, Molluscum, Eczema, Id reaction, Viral exanthem, Hypersensitivity.
Eczematous id reactions to molluscum contagiosum (MC) in children are common, occurring in up to 40% of cases of MC.
Id reactions to MC can be challenging to diagnose, as they may occur at sites distant from the MC lesions.
Id reactions can be caused by a variety of infectious and noninfectious dermatoses.
Asymptomatic id reactions do not require pharmacologic treatment and a watchful waiting approach is reasonable.
1. Id reactions can be caused by a variety of infectious and noninfectious dermatoses, including allergic contact dermatitis to nickel, scabies infestation, tinea infection and molluscum infection.
2. In a unilateral eczematous dermatitis, consider molluscum dermatitis, especially in a child with no personal or family history of atopy.
3. Treatment of symptomatic id reactions may help to reduce spread of MC via autoinoculation from scratching.
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