ZocdocAnswersDoes molluscum contagiosum go away?

Question

Does molluscum contagiosum go away?

My dermatologist told me I have molluscum contagiosum from having unprotected sex. Does it go away on its own? How long does it take to go away?

Answer

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin in which small whitish raised soft bumps form in various parts of the skin. The bumps often have a small dimple in the middle of them. The virus is picked up from the environment (such as contaminated towels and clothing) or from touching infected skin (for example as may happen during sex). You can also spread the infection to other parts of your skin by touching the spots or scratching. Generally speaking, in people who don't have other immune problems, the infection will clear itself up without any treatment whatsoever in about 2 months. During this time, however, you have to take care not to spread it around your own skin by scratching or touching the spots and to avoid spreading it to others through sex, towels, clothing, etc. If you feel like you would prefer to get treatment for the condition rather than letting it go away on its own, that is also possible. You would need to go see your dermatologist or your primary care doctor who can discuss potential medications for treatment as well as other options, such as simply freezing the spots with liquid nitrogen therapy.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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