Molluscum still contagious after treatment?

Originally Published: September 17, 2004 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 5, 2009
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Hey Alice,

A couple of months ago, I realized that I had Molluscum Contagiosum. I went to a doctor and had that confirmed and I started the treatment and now the bumps are gone and there is nothing left. So I was wondering whether I could still be contagious or not because I am about to start seeing somebody and I need to make sure that I don't have anything. :)

Dear Reader,

Mollusca are typically small, skin colored bumps or lesions that appear singly or in groups and can be found anywhere on the body. These bumps are caused by a virus that is usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Though it is less likely to occur, it can also be spread through sharing contaminated objects such as towels, washcloths, clothes, or gym equipment.

Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a virus and carried by an infected person. However, after lesions have disappeared or been removed, reoccurrence and the likelihood of transmission from one person to another are rare. While the actual time period in which a person is contagious is unknown, medical providers agree that transmission is highly unlikely when no lesions are present.

If left untreated, mollusca usually disappear on their own. It can take anywhere between 6 months and 5 years for them to disappear completely. Lesions or rashes may take longer to clear up in people with weakened immune systems. Since mollusca are more likely to be transmitted if not treated, some people have them removed. A health care provider may use freezing, scraping, electrosurgery, laser cautery, or chemical agents to remove the bumps.

Asking whether or not you could still be contagious shows that you not only care about yourself, but about others as well. While it is unlikely that you are still contagious, safer sex is a good idea when people are interested in protecting themselves and their partner(s). As you may know, the first step in protecting yourself and potential partners is open and honest communication. Sharing your experiences and making time to discuss the situation will only serve to make the relationship stronger. You may also want to have some information (this Q&A perhaps) with you during the talk. Congratulations on meeting some new and interesting,

Alice