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Molluscum Contagiosum

In October I got a bump on my penis that I thought was a pimple.  I started to notice that as soon as it healed a new one just like it would pop up in the same general area.  I never really thought anything of it, but it kept reccurring.  It would go away and then come back.  I went to the Doctor and was tested for everything(came back Negative) and they said it was Molluscum Contagiosum.  They said I could have gotten it from anything from dirty towels to contact with another person.  
I have recently noticed that I have many of the same bumps in my pubic hair area as well that I didn't notice before.

Assuming this started in October, I am guessing I have atleast another 6 months to get through it.  I now have a monogomous relationship with my girlfriend however I am very concerned I could have passed this along to her at some point over the past 3 months.  She has had 0 signs of any outbreak like mine.  The majority of the bumps are no longer on my penis and are in my pubic hair area.  What should I do to clear this problem up?  If I have passed this along to my gf, is it possible for me to go through all of this and then be reinfected or is it once you have had it, your body builds an immunity to it?
If I scratch the area, will I continue to spread this to other parts of my body thus lengthening the time it takes to pass through me completely?
2 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Molluscum contagiosum is a completely benign infection.  There are no complications and it always goes away.  I'm not saying to ignore it and I understand your concerns, but don't lose a lot of sleep.  It is a trivial condition.

There are uncertainties about genital area MC.  It is seen pretty frequently in STD clinics, and most cases appear to be sexually acquired.  On the other hand, dermatologists also see many cases, often in people in whom sexual transmission doesn't seem likely.  Most cases in men involve the pubic area, lower abdomen, or upper things; as you can imagine, sexual transmission may not be necessary for such cases. But occurrence on the penis itself almost certainly requires sexual exposure.  

Other than sex, the best bet is contact with young children.  Most cases of MC occur in toddlers, who get it by salivary contamination, such as mouth exposure to shared toys in a daycare setting.

As for your sex partners:  Most likely you caught it from whoever you were having sex with in the 2-3 months before the problem started last October.  You should speak to that person so that she (assuming it's a she, not a he) can get checked.  For your current partner, she might not even be susceptible.  If she had it as a child, she probably is immune to catching it again.  But even if she has noticed nothing wrong, it would be wise for her to visit her provider to check for MC lesions and get treated if any are found.

Treatment of MC consists of removing or destroying the lesions as they come up.  Common methods are currettage (i.e., for a provider to scrape them off, which causes much less pain than you might think); to freeze them; or to use certain medicines, like imiquimod (trade name Aldara) -- but that's much slower.  Sometimes providers teach patients to treat themselves by pricking the lesion and then expressing the hard white core.  But please don't do that unless/until a provider recommends it after personal examination.  If you haven't done so, I suggest you visit a dermatologist then follow his or her advice.

Whatever you do, don't worry about it.  Although it sometimes takes a few months, eventually the immune system kicks in and the lesions will stop recurring.  And then you will be immune to new infection.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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