Immediate clearance of lesions
We use Hyfrecation to burn the lesions off so there is no waiting for the treatment to work.
We offer medical treatment of Molluscum contagiosum of all numbers & locations in men and women.
Discreet billing & locations
We conduct ourselves professionally and ensure your discretion at every stage.
How does the process work?
We will begin by assessing and confirming your Molluscum lesions. We will discuss any questions you have and treatments available.
Should you wish to proceed with treatment, we will be able to offer you our Hyfrecation procedure for the same day removal of your Molluscum.
We may ask you to book a follow up appointment to ensure that your genital skin has healed nicely and that no further action is needed.
Can Molluscum contagiosum be cured?
In almost all patients, the immune system does eventually clear the virus within 6 to 18 months. However, there is no established treatment as such to cure the virus and it can sometimes take years for the body to clear all the spots.
There is no way of knowing when the virus has cleared, but if someone has been free from the lesions for 12 weeks, they are unlikely to get the lesions again and can be presumed to have cleared the virus.
When is treatment recommended?
Although not having any treatment for MC is an option for the patient, many patients seek treatment to clear the lesions immediately. This may be due to the following reasons:
- Aesthetic reasons
- Mental wellbeing
- Reduce risk of local spread
- Reduce further lesions in the area
- Reduce the risk of transmission to other partners
What are the treatment options for Molluscum contagiosum?
Usually, no treatment is needed, and the lesions spontaneously resolve within 6–18 months. In some individuals, it may take two years or more for all of the lesions to disappear. There is little evidence to suggest any one treatment is better than another.
Treatment is only recommended for children and adults when the spots are particularly unsightly and affect the quality of life, or for people with weakened immune systems to speed up the clearance process.
Active treatment methods include curettage, topical therapies, freezing and hyfrecation. You should only commence treatment under advice from a clinician.
Hyfrecation (method of treatment we offer)
Hyfrecation is the use of an electrical current to burn away superficial skin lesions. This treatment is more commonly used for skin warts caused by the human papillomavirus (e.g. genital warts, verrucas). However, it is also effective for the removal of lesions caused by molluscum. It is usually performed under local anaesthetic in a clinic setting.
This method is effective, and often results in complete clearance of lesions with one treatment, however, some people may require more than one session. Hyfrecation may carry a reduced risk of scarring than other physical removal methods such as curettage and cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy is the most common used treated for MC in the UK but may require more than a single treatment session for it work. In some patients, MC lesions can be very refractory to multiple treatment cycles of cryotherapy.
MC lesions tend to be small and it becomes very hard to precisely target the lesions alone, and not to affect the adjacent healthy skin. Aggressive treatment of the lesions and surrounding skin can lead to unsightly marks, discolouration or even permanent scarring at the site of lesions where cryotherapy has been applied, especially in those with darken skin.
Topical creams include potassium hydroxide, podophyllotoxin, imiquimod, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, cantharidin, salicylic acid and glycolic acid. These therapies are often used “off licence” and should only be used under supervision by a medical professional. They work by gradually destroying the lesions over a period of weeks.
Oral cimetidine alters the way specific immune cells respond to the chemical histamine. This is usually reserved for those with extensive disease and can take up to 12 weeks to have an effect.
How effective is the treatment for Molluscum contagiosum?
Almost all cases of Molluscum will resolve within 6–18 months without any specific treatment.
hysical removal will eliminate the lesions, but may result in a scar. Topical solutions and cryotherapy are also effective methods of treating Molluscum, however may require repeated applications for maximal effectiveness.
Is it a painful procedure?
For most patients, local anaesthesia (i.e. numbing creams, spray and/or injections) is enough to make the procedure a painless experience.
However, those with sensitive skin may feel some discomfort during the procedure, especially at the application of the local anaesthesia.
Rest assured, we will walk you through every step of the process and discuss the discomfort that may be involved and which method of local anaesthesia is best for you.
Are there any side effects?
Most patients are surprised with how simple the procedure is and the minimal discomfort it causes. They experience minimal discomfort during the recovery and can get on with their normal life in the a period.
However, sometimes patients may experience one of the following side effects: pain, soreness, bruising, bleeding, infection, change in skin colour and scar formation.
How long does the treatment take?
Most patients are able to have their lesions treated in one appointment. Those with a larger number of lesions may need an additional visit.
Does my partner need treatment?
Treatment is only required when lesions are present and waiting for them to resolve spontaneously is not possible or acceptable. Asymptomatic partners do not require any testing or treatment.
When can I have sex again?
Molluscum is passed through close physical contact and sexual contact. There is no requirement to abstain from sex if you have genital lesions, however, you may wish to use a condom to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to sexual partners, or abstain from sex altogether if the lesions cannot be covered by a condom.
Can I get Molluscum contagiosum again?
Getting infected with Molluscum contagiosum does not always produce a protective and lasting immunity. Therefore, one may get reinfected with subsequent exposures. Unlike other viral infections such as HPV and HSV, which are known for their ability to remain dormant within the body, molluscum is not known to have such a tendency. That means if new lesions appear after all lesions have resolved, it is likely to be due to a new infection rather than reactivation of the virus.
Sometimes patients get concerned when the lesions keep recurring and tend to have an aggressive course despite receiving the treatment. Often this is due to seeding of the nearby skin from the existing lesions and shaving of the affected area is known to spread the virus locally, by inoculating the skin through small breaches in the skin caused during the process of shaving!
What happens if I don’t get treated?
The infection will be cleared by the body spontaneously, typically within 6–18 months. In the vast majority of cases, lesions have entirely disappeared within 2 years. There are no lasting ill effects from having Molluscum contagiosum, and it does not predispose you to any other conditions such as cancer.
Is there anything I can do at home if I have Molluscum contagiosum?
To reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other parts of your own body (autoinoculation) it’s advised to avoid shaving or waxing of affected areas, and to be careful to wash your hands if you have touched the lesions. Maintaining healthy skin by keeping clean and dry to avoid the spots becoming infected by bacteria is also important.
You should make every effort not to pass the infection on to others, particularly those in your family. Stick to your own towel, clothing, bedding and personal items such as hairbrushes and toothbrushes. Lesions should also be covered prior to using swimming pools.
Page reviewed by Dr. Manoj Malu (Clinical Director)
Last reviewed date: 6 June 2021
Next review due: 6 June 2024
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
Reference & Further Reading
- British Association for Sexual Health and HIV: UK National Guidelines on the Management of Anogenital Warts 2015
- British Association of Dermatologists: Guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts 2014
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology: Genital Warts: Current and Future Management Options
- Clinical Medicine & Research: An Armamentarium of Wart Treatments
- Clinics in Dermatology: Genital warts and other HPV infections: Established and novel therapies
- Clinical Infectious Diseases: Genital Warts and Their Treatment
- Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: Treatment of anogenital warts
- Practical Therapeutics: Optimum Treatment of Genital Warts
- International Journal of STD & AIDS: Treatment of genital warts — what’s the evidence?
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: The management of difficult anogenital warts
- The New England Journal of Medicine: Latent Papillomavirus and Recurring Genital Warts
- American Family Physician: Management of Genital Warts
- American Family Physician: Management of External Genital Warts