Molluscum Contagiosum on Penis- How common is it?

Molluscum contagiosum on penis is quite commonly seen in sexually active individuals. The disease is generally mild and not much of concern when it comes to other areas. However, when it arises on the penis there will sure be lot of concern regarding it. Bumps in these area means that the molluscum contagiosum might have been spread through sexual contact, but this is not always the case. But it is wise for anyone who develops bumps on and around the penis to visit the doctor.

What is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common harmless skin disease that is caused by poxvirus called Molluscum Contagiosum virus (MCV). Molluscum contagiosum usually resolves on its own after few months. Treatment is generally not required for Molluscum contagiosum involving other areas, but for genital areas treatment may be necessary in order to prevent its spread and transmission.

How Molluscum contagiosum spreads?

Molluscum contagiosum virus can spread from person-to-person either with skin-to-skin contact or sharing items of infected person. Individuals with already existing molluscum contagiosum can spread to other areas of the body when the person scratches the bumps then touches on other parts of body immediately, this is called autoinoculation. So Molluscum contagiosum on penis may not always be due to sexual contact but could also be due to autoinoculation.

How does Molluscum contagiosum on penis look like?

Molluscum contagiosum on penis doesn’t differ from MC of any other areas. They are small white-pink or skin colored bumps with dimple in the center. These bumps are usually smooth, painless and firm and may commonly occur on the shaft of penis but other areas may also be involved. They may sometimes become red, inflamed and irritated. In individuals with weaken immune system these bumps may show different morphology and may not look like typical Molluscum contagiosum. They may often be large and increase in number and may not show typical central dimpling. In such case one should prompt for HIV and other tests for chronic disease that weakens immune system.

 

Pictures of molluscum contagiosum on penis
How is Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of MC is straight forward. Your doctor can confirm the case just by looking at the characteristic lesion of MC. If there is any doubt, you doctor will scrape the skin from the infected area and view under microscope. In rare cases skin biopsy may be required.

How is Molluscum contagiosum on penis treated?

In a healthy individual with MC on other parts of body, no treatment may be needed as MC usually resolves on its own after few months (but in individual with weakened immune system it may take longer). When it comes to genital areas it is very important to get it treated because the chances of spreading MC to other individual are very high for sexually active individuals. As they are so contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the spread of the infection.

There are several treatment options for Molluscum contagiosum on penis; these may range from topical applications to surgical destruction and extraction.

Topical applications

There are several topical applications that act as irritants, and immune response stimulators that have been used successively in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum on penis. These agents either dissolve the lesion over time or create immune response as a result of inflammation that calls for your immune army troops to get them killed. Below are the lists:

Imiquimod cream 5%
Cantharidin
Tretinoin cream
Bichloracetic acid and Trichloroacetic acid
Silver nitrate
Podophylin
Salicylic acid
Lactic acid
Glycolic acid
Potassium hydroxide
Benzoyl peroxide

Surgical options

Several surgical options are available for treatment of MC. These may be either doctor performed or at home treatment. Some of the treatments are listed below:

Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen)
Curettage
Electrodesiccation
Lasers (Pulsed dye laser)

Other at-office or at-home procedures for removal of Molluscum contagiosum

Expression of the central core with tweezers or squeezing it with forceps
Rupture of the central core with a needle or a toothpick
Shave removal
Duct tape occlusion

Note: If you are trying to extract yourself at home, always remember to strictly cover around the lesion with Vaseline, so the content of the bump won’t spread to the surrounding.

Repeat examination may often be necessary 2-5 weeks after treatment just to make sure the lesion have been completely cured. If not retreatment may be considered. Once the lesion have completely resolved Molluscum Contagiosum virus doesn’t remain in the body like other herpes virus. It can be completely cured. However, there is no permanent immunity to virus; so, one may get infected again upon contact to an infected person.

How can I prevent in near future

Abstinence from sex is the best way to prevent it from getting in near future. When u select your partner be careful in selecting. Good personal and genital hygiene is also very important in limiting the infection. Condoms may protect against several sexually transmitted diseases but it does not give total protection against MC or any other sexually transmitted infection.

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