Molluscum Contagiosum: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes a skin rash. It is a poxvirus and is spread via contact. When it affects the genitals, it is considered an STD. While it does not have a cure, the virus eventually resolves itself.


Molluscum contagiosum is spread through contact. This can take place in many forms:

  • Anal Sex
  • Oral Sex
  • Vaginal Sex
  • Casual Contact
  • Contact with contaminated objects
  • Scratching can spread the virus to nearby areas

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Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. The virus has to run its course.

Type of Infection

Viral. The infection is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus - a member of the poxvirus family.

How is it treated?

Removal. Sometimes no treatment is given. Other times the bumps are removed (scraping, laser, freezing).

Recovery Time

6 to 12 months. Untreated symptoms can disappear in 6-12 months.

Can I have sex?

No. Sexual activity should be avoided until all symptoms have resolved.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. People can be re-infected with the virus repeatedly.