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Avatar universal

Help, Molluscum?

Okay heres the story. I was a sexually active 19 year old male college student. About 6 months ago i noticed wart like lesions on the shaft and base of my penis. They could be popped, and had a white core followed by blood. I went to the school nurse and had her look to see if they were genital warts. She said they didn't work, but had me apply vinegar to my genitals to help her identify the lesions. After 5 or so minutes with a vinegar soaked cloth wrapped around my shaft, the bumps appeared more visible and white. Thus she said i had warts and told me that all i could do was wait for them to go away. THey eventually spread to my inner thighs and my low navel. MAny went away on their own, some i treated myself. Fast forward five monthes of me trying to chemically burn of these warts with salicylic acid, very painfully and moderately successfully, they have almost all dissappeared. And this month i had none, except for a pimple on my scrotum, which popped and didn't bleed. Basically i am looking for a little assurance as i was left open ended with my schools nurse. What do i have exactly? or what did i have? the bumps were no larger than 3mm, were raised, had a white core that could be popped(with difficulty) but were not dimpled as molluscum normally is. Molluscum? Ecxema? Herpes? HPV? What is it? this dictates my life!!!
2 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the STD forum.

Almost certainly this was molluscum contagiosum.  Your description is classical for that diagnosis; I could use it to teach medical students and residents about the disease.  (In fact, I may bookmark this discussion and use it exactly that way!)  This judgment is based on 1) lesion description, 2) location (warts don't commonly appear in the pubic area and thighs), 3) your age (typical in teens and up through age 25), and 4) expression of a hard white core followed by bleeding.  It's even classic in that the most common misdiagnosis for MC is genital warts. Many health care providers are simply unaware of the difference.  In this case, your student health clinician is also unaware that the vinegar test is more or less useless.  Lots of non-wart lesions turn white, and many warts do not.  (Whitening with acid means nothing more than thickening of the superficial layers of skin.)

Dimpling is typical for MC, but its absence doesn't mean much, especially in the first few days after a lesion appears.

Fortunately, MC is a trivial condition:  inconvenient and somewhat unpleasant, but with no serious health implicaitons.  The main unfortunate outcome in your case is that you missed an opportunity for more rapid resolution.  MC is easily treated, with any of several methods (freezing, curretage [scraping the lesions off], simply expressing the core as each lesion appears, and Aldara, also used for warts).  It's too bad you went through the several months for them to clear up on their own, instead of just a few weeks.  But at this point, I really wouldn't worry about it.

Obviously, I cannot be completely certain MC was the explanation.  No distant expert can make a firm diagnosis by verbal description.  But it seems by far the best bet.  If any lesions are persisting at this point, I suggest you see a dermatologist.  Most likely s/he will confirm MC.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes---  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you so much, I will be sure to keep my eyes peeled for any other symptoms or recurrance. thanks.
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