Skin Infections: Molluscum contagious or Water Warts. The rash looks like one or more small growths or wart-like bumps or dome (called mollusca) that are usually pink, white, or skin-colorer.
What is Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts)?
Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts) is an infection of the skin caused by the pox virus.
As its name implies, it is contagious (can be caught from another person by direct contact) and can be caught by sexual contact.
Most people with this condition are perfectly healthy.
How can Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts) be caught?
The virus is spread through skin to skin contact.
Molluscum can also be sexually transmitted if growths are present in the genital area.
It is also possible, but less likely, to acquire the molluscum virus from non-living objects.
Handling objects such as towels can also spread the virus which may be picked up in swimming pool changing areas.
It can take weeks to months for the spots to appear after you have been contacted with the molluscum virus.
What happens if I get Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts)?
The molluscum spots look like pimples .
One lesion looks like a tiny pearly dome shaped bumps with a depression in the centre.
It can affect any area of the skin.
It is painless but may occasionally be itchy , inflamed or infected. They can bleed slightly if scratched.
Learn more about symptoms of other Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
How do I know if I have Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts)?
Usually no tests are needed as the spots can easily be recognised by a doctor.
Molluscum contagiosum (water warts) is diagnosed clinically by the appearance of the rash.
It may appear similar to genital warts.
How is Molluscum contagiosum (Water Warts) treated?
Most cases of Molluscum contagiosum (water warts) are ‘self limiting’.
This means the rash goes away without treatment .
It may take from 6 months up to 5 years for all of the molluscum to go away on their own.
They may be more persistent in people with a weakened immune system.
Molluscum Contagiosum (Water Warts) Treatment is recommended if there is bleeding, bacterial infection or itch.
Different methods can be used to destroy them.
If there are many growths, multiple treatment sessions may be needed until the growths are gone.
Learn more about Molluscum costagiosum removal.
Do you think you have molluscum ?
What should you do next?
Strict attention to hygiene is very important!
You should make every effort not to pass the infection on to others by:
- Have a shower instead of a bath. The molluscum virus can live in the bath water and spread to other parts of the body.
- Be careful when drying after shower. The virus can be spread on the towel, so try to dry areas with the molluscum spots last.
- Do not share baths with other people
- Do not share towels or clothing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the molluscum lumps.
- You can still go to work and do normal daily activities as long as clothing usually covers the affected areas.
- Avoid skin to skin contact with others
- Abstinence from sex as this will involve skin to skin contact of the affected area
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
It is very difficult to prevent the sexual spread of Molluscum contagiosum apart from abstinence while the lesions are present.
Once the lesions have gone, the person is non-infectious.
Condom use does not offer much protection as the rash is usually in the groin or pubic area which are not covered by the condom.
Is Molluscum contagiosum cause cancer?
Molluscum contagiosum is a common non-cancerous skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. If does not cause cancer.
What if the molluscum come back after treatment?
It is always possible for a person’s skin to get infected again with the molluscum virus.
The condition may be easier to control if treatment is started when there are only a few growths.
The fewer the growths, the better the chance.
What are the possible complications of Molluscum contagiosum (water warts)?
The lesions caused by molluscum are usually resolve without scarring.
However scratching at the lesion, or using scraping and scooping to remove the lesion, can cause scarring.
For this reason, physically removing the lesion is not often recommended .
(This article is written by Our Guest writer Dr Mastura Shahrum)
Take care gals!
Dr. Mastura Shahrum