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Eczema & Molluscum Contagiosum - Differences


Eczema is a skin condition in the form of a nasty rash found on random areas of the body. Anyone can suffer from this condition but the severity can vary from person to person. An Eczema rash can be very itchy for a while but then just when the itching is over, it may in fact get worse. The itching of eczema is the first sign, followed by the skin becoming dry and flaky. If the eczema is on the hands and right under the cuticle of the fingers, large pieces of skin may "chip" off. Eventually, red blisters may appear all over the skin. If scratched, these blisters may water and in turn, may spread the rash even more over the skin. The rash will continue in the same cycle of itching, cracking, blistering, itching, healing, more scratching and then the cycle starts all over again. Eczema may be caused by drastic changes in weather such as moving from hot to cold areas as well as contact with solvents or other allergens.

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiousum is also a skin condition which may look similar to eczema except for one important detail - molluscum has an indent in each blister. Molluscum is extremely contagious whereas eczema can be self inoculated. Molluscum appears in children frequently as it is a strain of the pox virus and, since children have more skin contact than adults, it is passed on between playing youngsters. Molluscum is not dangerous and should not cause any pain but is highly contagious and can spread all over the body leading to a more serious condition.

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Where Molluscum and Eczema Meet

This is the problem. When someone has molluscum contagiousum, it is not uncommon to also suffer from eczema. The eczema is itchy and if it occurs in patches along the molluscum, and is scratched, then both conditions can be spread. Eczema is non contagious and it can only be spread in the person's own body. Molluscum is formed from a virus whereas eczema may come and go as it pleases. Both skin rashes will go away over time or with treatment.

Where Molluscum and Eczema Differentiate

As stated before, molluscum is known by its larger blisters with the indented centers. Eczema will have smaller red blisters which can sometimes have white tips like pimples which usually contain a pus-like substance. This is normal. Molluscum is very contagious and spreads just by contact while eczema cannot spread to other people. Eczema causes extreme itchiness and dryness before an infection. Molluscum has dry skin but should not cause an unbearable itch before appearing. While eczema does not leave scarring, if molluscum is bad enough it may leave indented scars not unlike acne scars. Both conditions will eventually clear up on their own but if you are concerned, seek medical advice as many skin conditions can be similar but are very different and one could be more harmful than another.

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