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Molluscum contagiosum often goes away on its own without any treatment. But a doctor can also remove the bumps or give you medicine to put on them.

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What’s the treatment for molluscum contagiosum?

If you have molluscum contagiosum, a doctor can remove the growths by freezing, draining, or using a laser to remove them. They can also give you a prescription for a medicine cream that you’ll apply at home. Treating molluscum contagiosum bumps is a lot like treating warts.

Molluscum contagiosum will usually go away on its own after a while, so some people choose not to treat or remove the growths. But if you don’t treat molluscum contagiosum, it usually takes 6-12 months for the bumps to clear up. During that time, you could spread the virus to other people.

Once the bumps are gone, the molluscum contagiosum virus is totally gone from your body — it won’t come back later. But you can get bumps again if you get another molluscum contagiosum infection in the future.

What do I do after treatment?

If you treat your growths with medicine or have them removed by your doctor, it’s important to take good care of your skin afterward.

  • Keep the area clean. Use a different towel for drying other parts of your body after a shower or a bath.

  • Don't scratch the area you got treated.

  • Wash your hands after touching the area that was treated.

  • Avoid having sex if it’s uncomfortable.

Ice packs and taking a pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with any pain or discomfort you may have.

More questions from patients:

Is there a molluscum contagiosum home remedy?

No, there isn’t any molluscum contagiosum home remedy that actually works. In fact, be wary of any treatments you find on the internet. They may not work and can end up being harmful, instead.

Molluscum contagiosum is a virus that affects your skin. It may look like small, waxy, round growths. If you get molluscum contagiosum, your doctor or nurse will treat you in their office or give you medicine to use at home.

Here are some ways to make treatment easier:

  • Keep the area clean. Use a different towel for drying other parts of your body after a shower or a bath.

  • Don't scratch the area that’s been treated.

  • Wash your hands after touching the area that’s been treated.

  • Avoid sex if it’s uncomfortable.

  • Use cold compresses or take pain medicine to relieve discomfort.

Some people choose not to treat the growths because molluscum contagiosum can go away on its own. But left untreated, it takes 6 months to 5 years for all the growths to go away. In that time, you can spread the virus to other parts of your body or other people.

If you notice any growths, if your partner has been diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum, or if your partner has growths, check in with your doctor or nurse or your local Planned Parenthood health center.

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