Molluscum contagiosum does not have any serious complications associated with it. However, scratching of the rash can lead to bacterial infections.

Partners and Re-infection

The infection can be easily transferred to partners even with condom use. Re-infection is always a possibility and care should be taken to avoid exposure.

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Individual lesions generally disappear in 2-4 weeks; however, the condition can take longer to resolve entirely. Roughly 35% of patients have what appears to be a recurrence, but it is not clear if it is true recurrence or a re-infection or a case of the virus that had not completely resolved yet.

Mark Riegel, MD

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.