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Your Questions Answered: Is Molluscum Contagiosum an STD?

Sexually transmitted diseases are a common affliction among adults, and can be dangerous if left untreated. Among STDs, molluscum contagiosum is one of the less severe; however, treatment is still essential.

Molluscum contagiosum (MCV) is an STD caused by a poxvirus, a family of viruses that date back hundreds of years. MCV is spread through skin-to-skin contact, and is therefore easily transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Is molluscum contagiosum an STD?

Molluscum contagiosum is considered an STD and should be treated. Here are some key facts that you should know about MCV and how it can affect you:

  • Molluscum contagiosum is a highly-contagious STD – Although more common in children, MCV can be transmitted between adults, and is most often transmitted in adults through sexual intercourse. If you or your partner has MCV lesions, then you are at risk of contracting the virus.
  • MCV is relatively painless – Unlike other STDs, molluscum contagiosum typically does not cause any pain. The lesions can; however, become infected if left untreated.
  • Without treatment, molluscum contagiosum will go away…in a few years – If you’re thinking about letting MCV “run its course,” think again. Lesions can take up to four years to heal on their own, and you are highly contagious as long as you have lesions on your skin (view images of Molluscum Contagiosum).
  • Molluscum contagiosum is an external STD – This means that MCV lesions will only appear on the skin – outside your body. If you have symptoms that are not on the skin, you should consult your doctor, as these are likely caused by another source.
  • MCV is rarely seen in healthy adults – While adults can contract molluscum contagiosum through sexual activity, it is rarely seen in adults who are healthy. Instead, MCV is typically found in adults with compromised immune systems (from cancer, HIV/AIDS or other medical afflictions).
  • Molluscum contagiosum can be spotted – If you believe you may have MCV, you should see your doctor. You can identify them fairly well from home; however, by looking for rounded, pink-to-skin colored bumps or lesions that have a small indention in the middle. Identifying these lesions, which are typically 2 to 5mm in diameter, is often an indicator of molluscum contagiosum.
  • Several treatment options are available – Traditional treatments include cutting, freezing or burning lesions with acid; however, there are natural remedies for molluscum contagiosum available that offer a painless, more discreet method for treating MCV.

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