Dermatology Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Moluscum Contagiosum

I have been diagnosed with Moluscum Contagiosum, and currently have about 16 small warts mostly in the area between my pubic region and my belly button.

My Dr. applied liquid Nitrogen to all bumps he could see. I am supposed to return in about a week for evaluation. If the Nitrogen doesn't work, he will move to a more agressive treatment involving other removal techniques...

In the mean-time, I would like to understand more about what I have, how I may have contracted it, how I can keep from getting it again, and how to prevent my girlfriend and family from getting it.  So... I have written down the following questions:

1. I have detected a few more warts than my Dr. has applied Nitrogen to. Should I schedule an immediate appointment, or is it safe to wait until my next scheduled visit?

2. I'm probably being a hypochondriac, but I now see pimples on my forehead, arm, and nose. There are no clusters, they are individual pimples. They look smaller and more like regular pimples.  What is the liklihood of the Molusca spreading to other areas of my body?  I have been careful not to scratch.

3. How easy is it to transmit to someone else?  For example, can I kiss my girlfriend? Is it transmitted in any other way besides affected-skin to skin contact, e.g. Saliva, Semen, Blood?

4. Related to #3, I am a swimmer. Should I keep myself out of the pool and gym?  Could this have been a way that I contracted this in the first place?  I'm 40 and this is the first time I've had this even though I have been swimming in public pools all my life.

5. Are there any topical ointments/creams and/or medications that can be taken besides just external removal of the warts that will help speed-up the recovery process?

6. My Girlfriend is paranoid now also. She has pimples that have been diagnosed by a dermatologist as adult acne. She wants to know if there is any kind of blood-test that can be taken to "prove" that she doesn't have Moluscum?

Thanks in advance
9 Responses
242489 tn?1210500813
First, relax.  In most cases, molluscum is not contagiosum.  Yes, that's right.  I see cases every week, in both adults and children.  Rarely does anyone else in the vicinity have them.  I know what the books say, but I stand by my observation, which is repeated almost daily.

I think there is no need for your doctor to use anything more drastic than liquid nitrogen.  A few treatment are often needed, but not more.  Nitrogen is gentle, safe, and doesn't scar.

Mollusca can appear nearby but not all over the place--not on you or your girlfriend.  These other bumps could be acne, blocked pores, or whatever.

Swimming and working out are no problem.

Even if you don't treat mollusca, they go away on their own in a average of 9 months.  That's what I recommend children do--just wait them out.

I don't know where people get them, and it doesn't matter.  I advise you to have the treatment completed and just forget about it.

To repeat--relax!


Dr. Rockoff
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply. Just one last question:  I'd really like to NOT pass these on to my Girlfriend.  Is Skin-to-skin contact the only way to pass it on if it is contagious?  I realize sex is out until they go away, but how about a good-old-fashioned make-out session?  ;^)
Avatar universal
I have been plagued with them for months.  I have had several treatments, and really freezing, or acid are the best.  They spread from my leg to my genital area. At one point I had at least a dozen burned off one day.  I tried Aldara ointment, and at first I thought it helped, but it didn't. Knowing what I know now, I would have had them removed immediately...wasted too much time with the Aldara.  I wish she had never tried treating me with it to begin with.  I wonder if I would have still had them if I had them removed instead of wasting months with the Aldara. I still needed to see my doctor after the Aldara didn't work on several.  I am still being treated 9 months later.  I'm not sure how I got them. I wish you luck.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to say that my son was diagnosed 2 years ago with the molluscum and I had a neighbor that told me to try Bacitracin Zinc Ointment that is over the counter at wal mart or any drug store. I put it on him 1 time a day at night for about 4-5 days and then after about a week to two weeks I could start noticing them drying up and he is now free of them. They chose not to do anything with him due to his age and the amount of them he had and after so long are gone. I hope you the best.
Avatar universal
I also meant to add, that 2 drs told me you only get Molluscum from skin to skin contact.  I was told to abstain from sex, which I did.  I would never want to give this to anyone.  I never heard of Molluscum until I got it, and I am certain a few of my students may have had it, from seeing photos online.  Now, I look at everyone's skin.  Yes, and to DD, I also used the ointment you mentioned.  I tried all kinds of things...only freezing and acid removed most of them.
Avatar universal
My sympathies on the molluscum.  It is true that this is not a "harmful" condition.  But let me say that all three of my children have had it and I hate this condition with a passion.  My son had it, roving all over his trunk and legs, for almost 2 years before it went away completely; he still has a few small dent-type scars on his torso.  My daughter fared quite a bit better (hers came about while my son still had his).  Then my youngest got a very nasty case, 2 years after everyone else had cleared up completely.  Dermatologists pooh-poohed it, insisting that leaving them alone is the best course.  Perhaps so; I can't help but think they'd have spread less had we treated them more aggressively.

Avatar universal
A related discussion, Molluscum...when I will be ok? :( was started.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, moluscum contagiosum was started.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Moluscum was started.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions