Molluscum Contagiosum

 

What is it?

 

Molluscum Contagiosum is a common skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin.

 

How do you get it?

 

Molluscum Contagiosum is passed on by direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the infection. It can be transmitted through sexual contact and through non-sexual contact with infected areas.

 

What are the symptoms or signs?

 

The lesions look like waxy pimples that have a dimple in the middle. Lesions can appear in the genital area as well as other parts of the body and can be itchy. Scratching can spread the virus. Sexually transmitted lesions are usually found on the lower abdomen, pubic area and thighs. They usually show up between two and twelve weeks after exposure.

 

Testing

 

Diagnosis is made by observation by a medical practitioner.

 

Can it be treated?

 

The lesions can disappear by themselves however a medical practitioner can freeze off the lesions to reduce the risk of them spreading.  Alternatively, the core of the lump, which contains the virus, can be extracted with a fine needle.

 

How can it be prevented?

 

Only the area covered by a condom, glove or dam is protected from the virus. Avoid close physical until the lesions have disappeared.

 

Molluscum Contagiosum & HIV

 

If you are HIV-positive you may be more susceptible to acquiring molluscum contagiosum, which is more persistent in people with a weakened immune system. The severity of molluscum infection is considerably reduced in some people with HIV who take anti-HIV medication.