[Question #6902] molluscum contagiosum in adults

11 months ago
Hi, I hope this question finds you well and safe. My question isn’t really of the sexual nature. My wife had what we thought to be a pimple on her back and asked me to pop it for her. I did so, but it looked different and she agreed. Upon looking at it with a professional, it turned out to be molluscum contagiosum. My concern is I will contract this on my hands as I didn’t wear gloves and touched the core. Very brief and I washed my hands within a few seconds after finishing. Also this looked to be fairly dry and was healing. 

Quick background about me. Mid 30’s healthy male with hsv2 and mild eczema. Not sure if any of these play a part. I work with my hands so they are fairly rugged where the exposure took place. 

Thanks for any help. Main concern would be getting a possible outbreak on my hands with having a 6 month old baby in the house. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
11 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your confidence in our services.

This is a peculiar situation. Can you clarify how the diagnosis was made and how certain it is? I'm going to assume the diagnosis is correct, despite the very atypical location on yor wife's shoulder. 

Presumably if the MC was professionally diagnosed, it also would have been treated (for a single lesion, perhaps with curettage -- i.e. just scraping it off). No health professional would advise treating by manual expression of the core, by the patient or her spouse, and you shouldn't do that. However, if for some reason this is the only optiion, you can avoid exposure by wearing protective latex or nitrile gloves. If for some reason this can't be done, ashing with soap and water afterward would be effective prevention.

With a 6 month old child in the house, the most likely scenario is that s/he is the source of your wife's infection -- if the baby has had contact with other children, e.g. in day care. MC is primarily a pediatric infection transmitted between young children, largely through saliva. In that case, s/he probably is now immune. But even if not, gloving or washing as just described would prevent any risk of transmission.

I hope these comments are helpful. I look forward to hearing more about the diagnosis; and let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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11 months ago
Hi sir, thank you for the response. The diagnosis was made after I had mistaken the MC for a common pimple. I was not preset at the time when she spoke to a dermatologist.  They certainly didn’t tell us to treat it ourself haha. It was just one of those things, where she thought it was something it wasn’t, asked me to get it for her. That’s when I noticed it didn’t look like the typical pimple, and she went ahead from there to get it looked it. 

But like I said prior. I had no gloves on, due to the ignorance of not knowing what I was dealing with. I did wash my hands with soap and water very well. This  is common practice in our house with no exceptions, even more so no due to the state of the world. Just thinking back and having the core on my fingers/hands. I worry I will have a breakout in those spots. With changing diapers and such, it tends to weigh on my mind. 


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
11 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. With washing and/or gloving, you really needn't worry about transmitting the MC virus to the baby. And please note my comment about the likelihood the baby is the source of your wife's infection. To my knowledge, MC is likely uncommon in 6 month olds, and probably unlikely is the child isn't around other kids, e.g. in day care. But still it seems a possibility as the source of your wife's infection. In addition to examining the baby for MC type lesions, I advise informing his/her pediatrician of your wife's infection, then following the pediatrician's advice.

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11 months ago
And for my final follow up. What is the likelihood I infected myself through all this?

That will retire this question after your response. Hope you and your family is remains safe and healthy. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
11 months ago
Assuming you didn't touch other body areas before washing, there was no transmission risk. If you did touch yourself, especially with some vigor (e.g. scratching an itch with the fingers used in expressing the core), it would be reasonable to keep an eye on this places the next few weeks. 

Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.
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