Thanks for writing.
It sounds like the doctor you saw was pretty confident when diagnosing the Molluscum. Every doctor has different specialities and experiences, and if the doctor you saw doesn’t have a lot of experience with genital warts or Molluscum it’s possible that there was a miss diagnosis. However, Molluscum is very common and it would not be unusual to be diagnosed with it.
Without seeing you in person it is hard for me to confirm the diagnosis you have been given, but here is some general information:
Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact. It usually appears as round bumps with a small indent in the centre of the bump (almost like a ‘donut’). Molluscum can also have a white head in the centre of the bump. Molluscum can appear anywhere on the body, including: genitals, buttocks, stomach, legs, arms, neck, face. The bumps are painless but often feel itchy.
Genital warts are also caused by a virus that is passed through skin-to-skin contact. Warts usually appear as oddly-shaped textured bumps, and are often confused with skin tags. Genital warts only appear on the genitals and do not occur on the stomach, legs, arms, neck, or face. Genital warts are painless and usually not itchy.
Generally, Molluscum Contagiosum is not dangerous, and you should not be worried. The virus can be treated (either with a light spray of liquid nitrogen or by “unroofing” the bumps), and once the virus is gone it does not stay in the body (unlike genital warts and HPV). While the bumps are present it is possible to pass the virus to another person or to other parts of your body. To lessen the chance of spreading the virus to other parts of your body it’s best to avoid shaving that area until the bumps are gone. Also, after showering/bathing it’s a good idea to use a separate towel when drying the area of your body where the bumps are, as using the same towel on all of your body can spread the bumps.
If you’d like a second opinion you can always go to an STI clinic for a consult. Check out our Clinic Finder to access an STI clinic near you.
Hope this helps! Please feel free to submit another question and/or comment below if you need more clarification.
This answer was posted on April 21, 2017.
This answer was updated on February 7, 2022.