Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layers of the skin. The infection causes small, raised spots that can spread by skin-to-skin contact.
Molluscum contagiosum is passed on by skin-to-skin contact while having sex or by touching objects that have had the virus come into contact with, such as clothing, towels and bedding. You can also pass it onto other parts of the body by scratching the infected area and then touching another area.
It can take up to 2 to 12 weeks for symptoms to appear after being exposed. Once symptoms show the appearance of painless, firm, circular, lumps with a dimple in the middle may will appear on the skin. You can find these around the penis (dick), vagina (front-hole), and less commonly thighs or abdominal area.
Diagnosis is made by observation of the lumps by a doctor or nurse.
The doctor can freeze them off or other treatment options are skin creams and laser therapy.
You can reduce your risk of Molluscum contagiosum by thoroughly washing your hands with warm soapy water and always using a condom while having sex, although Molluscum contagiosum can still spread and cannot be fully prevented.
Molluscum contagiosum is not always tested for but making sure you go for regular sexual health check-ups can also prevent this.
If you are HIV positive, you may be more susceptible to getting Molluscum Contagiosum, due to a weakened. immune system.