Molluscum, which is a pox virus, is a viral infection that can be transmitted through close intimate contact. Like HSV and HPV, intercourse is not necessary to transmit the virus. While not 100% effective, the best protection against transmission of molluscum is consistent use of the male or female condom. Nonsexual transmission is also possible and may be associated with wrestling, tattooing, and the use of gymnastics equipment and towels.
Molluscum lesions, which can be located on the genital skin, thighs, buttocks, and even the chest, have a distinct appearance. These lesions often are small and round and contain a white or yellow cheesy substance inside. It is important not to squeeze or pop these lesions. While few symptoms are experienced, these lesions can become secondarily infected when popped. Molluscum can also be spread by scratching and shaving.
Treatment for these lesions are similar to treatment for HPV. Generally, these lesions are frozen off with one or two applications of liquid nitrogen mixture. Women’s Health will treat molluscum lesions in this manner. If the lesions are left untreated, they usually resolve within 2 months to several years. Women’s Health recommends that all lesions be treated to hasten healing and reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus. Treatment for an infected partner can be obtained at Student Health.