Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious viral condition which can be spread by clothing, by towels, and by close bodily contact (for example, sexual intercourse).

Transmission is possible in swimming pools, sauna baths, after massage and between children in schools.

Molluscum contagiosum has a variable incubation period of two to twelve weeks after contact. The lesions are pearly white round lumps, about 1mm to 5mm in diameter, with a central dimple.

They may appear anywhere on the skin if transmitted non-sexually, but are found on the lower abdomen, upper thighs, buttocks and genital area in sexually active adults.

The molluscum can be frozen off individually but that takes a long time. They can also be scraped off using a wooden swab or matchstick as in the video below. I generally show the patient how to do one or two in clinic, then they can do the rest themselves in the comfort and dignity of their own home. If there are a lot of lesions there is no need to do them all in one go! The very process of damaging the lesions can itself stimulate the immune response and the rest can disappear over several weeks. See video below.

Please remember that using a condom offers good protection against all sexually transmitted infections, including the HIV virus. Condoms are supplied free from the Family Planning Clinics and Genito-Urinary Clinics.