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Hello all, I’m a 21 year old female and I was recently diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum. Around the end of November, I went to my gynecologist for my annual checkup. A couple days earlier I had shaved and noticed some raised bumps which I just assumed to be razor bumps since I am familiar with those. Come to find out at my gynecologist appointment, the doctor informed me by just looking that I had molluscum contagiosum.
I was unfamiliar with molloscum contagiosum so I was extremely frightened. The doctor informed me that it is a viral skin infection. Because children are the biggest demographic for molloscum, it is not typically considered an STI. However, sexually active adults can transmit it. I had not had intercourse for about three months at this point but she explained to me that the incubation period for molluscum can be a few weeks to even a few months. This brought some relief to me, but then she continued on to say that it could take 6 months-2 years for my immune system to recognize, attack, and heal from the molluscum.
Hell no. Hearing that I could potentially be going two years without sex crushed me. I am not currently in a committed relationship, but I had started casually dating someone. We have not had sex yet (which I am now very thankful for), and I felt as though this diagnosis had completely destroyed my chances with him. Fast forward a week and I finally got the courage to tell him while choking back tears of embarrassment. He met me with kindness and understanding. He told me that it’s no big deal to him and that waiting is not an issue, or if the time is ever right he would be more than willing to take proper precautions (condom, boxers on sex). I might just be dramatic but I just started sobbing after he said that. I felt so alone and disgusted with myself. To finally get that off my chest and be accepted meant the world to me. People really value your honesty, so if you’re in the same situation as me it sucks but it has to be done.
***HOWEVER! After consulting my doctor she suggested avoiding sex. Even if there is no skin to skin contact between the partners, the infected person still runs the risk of spreading it even more on themselves (friction, possibly popping the papules)****
For whatever reason, my doc suggested waiting 2-3 months to see if my immune system would recognize it and tackle it on its own. DO NOT DO THIS! If you have the financial means to get treatment to remove the molluscum, DO IT ASAP! By waiting you’re just giving the molluscum more time to potentially spread. And sure enough, mine did! I started with maybe 5 bumps (inner thigh and butt), and now I’m more in the 10-15 range. Even with me being hypervigilant about showering, no shaving, washing clothes and sheets, etc. they still managed to spread.
I also want to tell you guys what I’ve tried in this 2-3 month time frame to try and resolve this on my own.
Naturasil. Got this off of amazon because the reviews for it were too good not to give it a try. I was religious about the 3x a day application and always made sure the area was kept clean. I used this for a solid month and a half. I can’t say that it worked or didn’t work. Did the bumps go away? No. But did they change in appearance or size? Yes. They definitely shrunk! However, the changes cannot be credited to the Naturasil because that could’ve very well just been the natural cycle of how the molluscum grows.
Zymaderm. I also purchased this on Amazon after the Naturasil stopped giving me results. I have been using it for about 3 weeks. Since using this nothing has changed, but the molluscum has not spread which is enough for me to keep using it!
Vitamins/Supplements, LOTS OF EM! After doing some research I came across a gynecologist who makes videos about all different kinds of STIs and the treatment methods. She highlighted the importance of keeping a healthy immune system because physically removing molluscum does not actually “cure” you of it. The immune system needs to recognize the virus in the body and attack it for it to be gone for good. I took her suggestion and bought some lysine, vitamin C, echinacea, and a regular multi-vitamin and took them all daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar. I personally had no success with this. It burned a little bit, totally doable. However, I felt as though I was possibly damaging the skin around the papules because the ACV soaked cotton ball was too harsh. My skin looked super red and inflamed. I know that the skin near the genitals is a lot more sensitive, so I didn’t want to take any risks. For this reason, I stopped after a week.
My main goal with these at-home methods was to just keep it contained until I decided what the best treatment option was for me. Today, I will be going to the gyno to have them removed. She phrased it as “surgically” removing them, but I think the technique is called curettage. I decided to go with this because the doc said she has had the best success with ridding the molluscum using this method. Also, this allows them to take one of the papules and send it to the lab to confirm it is molluscum! Methods such as cryo and blistering agents have not been as successful (usually take multiple rounds) and can lead to some nasty scarring. For these reasons, I’m willing to take on a little more pain to hopefully get a better outcome!