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Avatar universal

Molluscum contagiosum concerns!

Hello,

I was diagnosed with Molluscum about 3-4 months ago after noticing a red bump with an impression in the middle of it on my public area, then came concerned when a 2nd one showed up. I am a 20 year old male. I have since been going to regular freezing sessions with Liquid Nitrogen about every 3 weeks since i've been diagnosed. First it was just the pubic area, then it moved to my penis then a few on the sack and now on my lower stomach. The one on the stomach appear to be taken care of and I have not seen any new ones in my pubic area however I did get a few new ones on my sack and one on the underside of my penis.

This is really hard on me because I have a fiance and we have been unable to have intimate relations now for months on end. It is a very stressful situation. Is there a recommended way to get a home freezing kit or a do-it-yourself kind of thing in between visits to the dermatologist to help this process. It has gotten to the point where my dermatologist has asked me to not come in so much because every time a new one appears i call to make an early appointment (Only have done that twice) I don't know if he is afraid of getting it or just wants to me wait longer in between treatments. But wont waiting make it spread since its a contact virus on the outside of the skin.

It is just very depressing and I try not to think about it, but it is effecting a very important part of my love life. And i am also a little bit concern because my fiance and I this weekend cheated a little bit and we used a condom a few times over the weekend (I was very careful to make sure she didn't touch my lower stomach or pubic area or any other area not covered by the condom) because we are getting sick of it.

I've been trying to keep my immune system up as well also. I've been taking vitamin C chewables.

Do you have any advice for me? I would value your professional opinion, my Dermatologist does not have much to say to me except to just keep doing freezings.
9 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Yes, I surely do have some advice for you.

1) Most important, stop worrying so much about it.  MC is a completely benign infection with no complications; it will never seriously harm you or your fiance.  Eventually new lesions will stop appearing, probably pretty soon now; I have never heard of MC lasting more than 5-6 months.

2) Almost equally important, don't let such a trivial infection interfere so much with your sex life, especially since it is obviously very important to you, and probably to your fiance as well.  Assuming you haven't been sexually active with anyone else in the 1-2 months before the MC first appeared, it is probably that you caught it from your fiance -- and you aren't going to give it back to her.  And even if you caught it elsewhere, you undoubtedly had the virus during the 1-2 months before the first lesion appeared, so if she wasn't infected before, you can assume you already transmitted the virus to her.  Either way, she already is infected or exposed.  Many infected people are asymptomatic and remain that way.  Whether or not you resume sex with her, she should be on the lookout for MC lesions; if any appear, they can be treated just as yours have been.  Over time, you both will become immune to the virus -- so there is no risk of transmitting the infection back and forth.

3) Other treatments are available.  Ask your dermatologist about a prescription for imiquimod (trade name Aldara).  Or ask himn to show you how to treat new lesions yourself, by pricking the top with a sterile needle then pressing out the white core just as you would with a pimple.  (We often teach this to patients this in my STD clinic.)  Wash your hands and the genital area after treating lesions in this way, to avoid spreading the virus around.  Or if your dermatologist for some reason doesn't think this is a good idea, find another one -- or visit the local STD clinic.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the information, It is possible to pass MC to her even when it started out on my pubic area (Assuming my pubic area did not touch her skin during intercourse)? Is it transferable through semen or just skin contact? And would condoms even make a difference like i've tried?

I can understand what you have told me about her being infected from me by now if I had it diagnosed with 2 lesions already a decent size and visible. I had check her out and I could not see any lesions on her recently but I will recommend she gets check out anyways as a precaution.

And assuming she does have MC but she is reacting asymptomatic, is it safe to not use a condom if it is assumed she has it from me already? Or maybe I should just keep using a condom to be safe if we decide to do that.

However, in any case, I will gladly refer this to my dermatologist and see what he can do for me. Thank you for the valuable information and I look forward to another response and I will get back to you about what he does for me on Tuesday. Thanks Doctor Handsfield.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
There are no data on the exact mechanics of sexual transmission of MC, but most likely skin contact is more influential than semen exposure.  I guess it's possible to have rewarding sex without your pubic area contacting your partner somewhere, but it doesn't seem worth the time, energy, or inherent limitations on sexual position.  My guess is that using condoms isn't either necessary or helpful.  Truly, I just wouldn't worry about it.  If your partner hasn't seen lesions by now, probably she never will.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much Doctor Handsfield,

This has been such a comfort to myself and insecurities about this infection. I appreciate everything you do for the people here and in your work outside the forum. I'll consult with my fiance on what she wants to do for continued intercourse and I will definitely get back to you with my result from my next visit.

Very greatful,

-Nick
Avatar universal
Hello Doctor Handsfield,

I got back from my appointment this afternoon and this is what happened:

I showed my dermatologist our conversations and I asked him about Aldara, to which he said: Aldara will only clear up small MC bumps, not large MC bumps, which will have to be treated with freezing and/or other removal methods. Although I do intend to keep freezing them, I reached an agreement with the dermatologist that I would use Aldara in between appointments as discussed. He gave me a prescription and I now have Aldara.

When i was talking to him about what you had said in regards to MC in general, He said the following. MC has an incubation period that, even though when it looks like it has cleared up it could be 3-4 months before you can write it off as truly cleared up because they can be extremely small and still rupture while not visible in plain sight. He then trailed off about HPV, and I had to correct him that I don't have HPV then he agree'd with me.

He then said something about If i gave it to my fiance in the 1-2 months before I got diagnosed that she would have it in her vagina and she should see a gynecologist but I again had to tell him it started in my pubic area and then he said I was right and it probably would start on her pubic area first outside if she was infected.

I value his opinion but however I value yours much more because your a specialist in this area where he is an aging doctor (70+) and a background in general dermatology with an old school sense of virus'. He doesn't ever seem to give me clear cut answer, but he does the liquid nitrogen just fine. He said you were very nice and he respects your opinions. He went on about the pin pricking to get out the cores of MC but he didn't actually show me.

For some reason he kept talking to be about other patients having symptoms for longer than 6th months but maybe he is talking about people who haven't sought treatment until it was advanced.

Again I value your responses so much, I look forward to getting more of them, and some ideas of what to do next.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
There isn't much disagreement here.  There has been little research on the epidemiology of genital area MC in adults, so that various providers' understanding and advice are based more on their clinical experience than objective data  Dermatologists and STD specialists tend to have differing perspectives due to major variaions in patient mix, referral patterns by other providers, etc; for example, dermatologists probably see more prolonged, complicated, or unusual cases.  Such difference influence our perspectives about the disease.  Certainly I defer to a dermatologist's judgment about which treatments are best based on lesion size and number, as well as other factors.  

It is common in my experience that some partners of persons with MC, including those partners who are the only plausible source of infection, are asymptomatic with no visible lesions.  Your dermatologist apparently has a different experience.  That doesn't mean either of us is wrong.

Direct care by a personal provider is generally more reliable than anything a distant expert can say based only on written description.  All in all, it sounds like you are in the very capable hands of a wise and experienced dermatologist.  I recommend you stick with him and continue to follow his advice about managing your MC.  (Tell him I said so.)  
Avatar universal
Understood. Either way though, you are sure that MC can not be transmitted back and forth once someone has had it. Worst case scenario that I did pass it to her and she begins showing lesions, I wouldn't get it again?

Do you have any direct tips at applying Aldara should I see new lesions form?

I'll let him know you said so in 3 weeks when I go for another treatment. I'll let you know if anything turns up down the road on this subject. Until then, thanks for all the help doctor!
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
There is no proof about back and forth ("ping-pong") transmission, but I cannot say it never occurs.  The dermatologist who gave you the Aldara prescription is the one to ask about details of application; or read the package insert carefully and follow the instructions.

Thanks for the thanks.  Best wishes.  And really, when all is said and done, this will fade into an insignificant (if unpleasant) health issue for both you and your partner.
Avatar universal
I had mollescum.... My biggest fear was to have transmitted to my partner, since I did not know I had the virus at 1st. I think I found out in April or May. Its now the end of October, my lesions are all gone. Should I still be worried that my partner can have the virus. I was seeing a doctor , who was freezing my lesions. At home i was applying wart medication and putting a peace of duck tape on the lesions. I read that mollescum has to do with the skins immune system. So i checked the web for ways to boost the skins immune system. I found that vitamin E, A and C help to bolster the skin's cellular defense system. Therefor I went to see the pharmacist and asked for the highest dosage of vitamin E they sold...I got 400IU. I was also taking vitamin C capsules. I found that shortly after taking vitamin E and C daily the lesions had stop spreading and soon disappeared. I m not a Dr., so maybe it was just pure coincidences, but I truly believe that the daily consumption of those vitamins helped cure me of the virus.
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