Of all the issues that can affect the penis skin, the appearance of warts or other unusual bumps may be the most upsetting. The sight of a penis wart, or worse, a grouping of small, pimple-like protrusions is enough to make any guy jump to the conclusion that he has contracted herpes from a partner and that he can now look forward to a lifetime of social embarrassment, uncomfortable outbreaks and daily medication.
However, before assuming the worst, all men should be aware of various other skin conditions that can resemble the dreaded herpes simplex, and in many cases, these can be treated and cured. In addition, regular physical exams and proper care of the skin can help to keep the penis healthy and avoid embarrassing and unpleasant problems. One of the more common conditions that can affect the penis skin is a viral infection known as molluscum contagiosum.
What is molluscum contagiosum?
Molluscum contagiosum, or MC, is caused by a virus that affects only the outer layers of the skin or mucus membranes. Sometimes known as water warts, outbreaks of MC can appear on any part of the body, including the penis. The warts resemble small, pearly, dome-shaped bumps that may have a dimpled center. They may occur in clusters or over a widespread area of the body. The warts are generally painless, but they may cause itching and irritation; MC may be accompanied by eczema in about 10% of cases.
Is it contagious?
Molluscum contagiosum is highly contagious and may be spread as long as there are warts present on the body. It is often spread through sexual contact and can be mistaken for the herpes virus. Even sharing towels or clothing or touching the surface of a wart can result in infection.
Breaking the surface of the lesions can also spread the virus, as it is contained in the waxy center of the warts. Those who are infected should avoid scratching or picking at the warts to reduce the chances of spreading the virus to other parts of the body. Scratching may also lead to scarring and/or secondary bacterial infections.
Can it be cured?
Unlike the herpes virus, once the bumps on the skin are gone, the MC virus is no longer present in the body. Although the condition typically clears up on its own, this process can take several months, or even years. Many people who are infected choose to treat the lesions in order to avoid social embarrassment. Doctors generally recommend treating the warts when they appear in the genital area in order to prevent infection of sexual partners.
Treatments for molluscum contagiosum range from cryotherapy – freezing the lesions off the skin – to application of astringent. Essential oils may also be an effective treatment, and a preparation of retinol, or vitamin A, has shown promise in clearing up water warts and other skin blemishes.
Keeping the penis healthy and avoiding embarrassing skin issues
It goes without saying that men who experience warts or other lesions on the penis skin should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional. In addition, keeping the penis healthy through a regimen of cleansing and skin care can help to prevent unpleasant infections.
Use of a specialized penis health formula (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) containing vitamin A may help to clear up warts and other skin blemishes that affect the penis. Antioxidants such as vitamin C are also indicated for boosting the body’s natural defenses against infection. The natural emollients found in a quality penis cream can help to smooth and nourish the skin, keeping supple and resilient and maintaining a pleasant appearance.