How is molluscum contagiosum diagnosed?

Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum is based on the distinctive appearance of the lesion. If the diagnosis is in question, a doctor can confirm the diagnosis with a skin biopsy (the removal of a portion of skin from a patient for diagnostic examination). If there is any concern about related health problems, a doctor can check for underlying disorders.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/10/2019.


  • American Academy of Dermatology. Molluscum contagiosum. Accessed 12/2/2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Molluscum (Molluscum Contagiosum) Accessed 12/2/2019.
  • Shinkai K, Fox LP. Chapter 6. Dermatologic Disorders. In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Rabow MW, eds. CURRENT Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2019. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2019.

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