is molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the
skin. It is common in children, and in the past, was only associated with them.
However in recent years, it has developed into an STD (sexually transmitted
disease) in adults.
It is not a dangerous condition.
does molluscum contagiosum look like?
Molluscum contagiosum appears as small, flesh-coloured
or pink spots on the skin. These are sometimes mistaken for warts, but tend
to have a smooth, shiny surface, and a depression in the middle.
When found in children, they can appear on the
chin, chest, abdomen, face, legs, and arms. When it occurs in adults, it usually
appears on the genital area, inner thighs, and lower abdomen.
is it transmitted?
In children, molluscum contagiosum is transmitted
through shared clothing and towels, or through person-to-person contact. For
this reason, its transmission is associated with places like swimming pools.
In adults, the most common way in which molluscum
contagiosum is transmitted is through sexual contact.
I get molluscum contagiosum, how long will I be infectious?
As this is not known for certain, you should assume
that you are infectious as long as you still have the virus.
molluscum contagiosum lead to cancer?
No. Molluscum contagiosum is benign (non-cancerous).
do I get rid of molluscum contagiosum?
Usually, in cases of people with normal immune
systems, molluscum contagiosum disappears by itself. In more extreme cases,
medical treatment may be required.
Your doctor will arrange the appropriate treatment,
if treatment is necessary. The options include:
- Deroofing the lesions under sterile conditions
- Lifting open the tip and painting with an antiseptic
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen
- Application of a caustic chemical
- Destruction with an electric current (diathermy)
Molluscum contagiosum can cause complications in
people who are HIV positive.
can an adult keep from getting molluscum contagiosum?
The most common way molluscum contagiosum is transmitted
in adults is through sexual contact. Therefore if you are not in a monogamous
relationship, where you know your partner is uninfected, always practise safe
sex. Wear a condom but remember, a condom cannot protect areas such as the scrotum
or the buttocks from molluscum contagiosum. If in any doubt, abstain from sex
until you or your partner are checked out.
While molluscum contagiosum is not considered a
dangerous disease, always seek medical advice if you notice anything unusual
around your genital area.
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