Q. What is secondary infection?

Answered by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 31, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have itchy red bumps on my thighs and labia and some of which have whiteheads.  I was not sure what it was. It seems to get worse when I am stressed and I am irritated with certain fabrics. Also, I have tested for herpes, but it came negative as it is too early to test. I am attaching my photo. Please explain me.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your query and examined your picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

It seems that you are having molluscum contagiosum and a few of them are secondarily infected.

Molluscum contagiosum virus will cause multiple or single raised skin lesion.

The papules are umbilicated and contain a caseous plug.

This virus may sometimes get inoculated along the small skin injury, such as from shaving which is known as autoinoculation.

This virus gets transmitted through direct skin contact, through swimming pool or it could be transmitted sexually (STD).

Investigations to be done:

1. Skin biopsy.
2. HbsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen), anti-HCV (anti-hepatitis C virus) and HIV to rule out sexually transmitted disease.

Differential diagnosis:

1. Molluscum contagiosum
2. Folliculitis.

Probable diagnosis:

Molluscum contagiosum with secondary infection.

Treatment plan:

1. Generally, it is self-limited and heals spontaneously after several months. Curettage or enucleation is a more effective treatment.
2. I suggest you to take tablet Azithromycin 500 mg once daily for three days and topical Mupirocin ointment local application twice daily for five days. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with their consent.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a dermatologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

What is secondary infection? Please explain me.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Secondary infection means if you have one kind of lesion that gets traumatized by scratching.
  • It leads to infection in our body commensalism or by certain bacteria like staphylococcus aureus or other bacteria leading to pus formation in a few traumatized lesions.

For further informatoin consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

How contagious is it and will it spread to the rest of my body? Can it be cured with antibiotics? Please explain.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Since it is a viral illness, there is no role of antibiotics.

Antibiotics act against bacteria and not on a virus. In your case, as you have few secondary infected lesions, you will require antibiotics.

Since molluscum is caused by a virus that can be passed on by skin contact or from contaminated towels, flannels and soft toys.

It is not serious and usually clears within 12-18 months without any treatment.

You should not touch the lesions till you get cured to prevent further transmission to other areas of the body.

For further information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

Does it mean no sexual contact with anyone for a year?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, avoid sex for at least two to three months till your lesions get completely cured. Otherwise, your partner will also develop these kind of eruptions.

For further information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

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