Signs of Syphilis
Symptoms of Syphilis
The list of medical symptoms mentioned in various sources
for Syphilis may include:
List of 103
Note that Syphilis symptoms usually refers to various medical symptoms known to a patient,
but the phrase Syphilis signs may often refer to those signs
that are only noticable by a doctor.
Signs or Symptoms of Syphilis:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)
The first symptoms of syphilis may go undetected because
they are very mild and disappear spontaneously. The initial symptom
is a chancre; it is usually a painless open sore that usually
appears on the penis or around or in the vagina. It can also occur
near the mouth, anus, or on the hands. If untreated, syphilis may go
on to more advanced stages, including a transient rash and,
eventually, serious involvement of the heart and central nervous
system. The full course of the disease can take years. Penicillin
remains the most effective drug to treat people with syphilis. (Source: excerpt from Sexually Transmitted Diseases, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Syphilis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)
The initial infection
causes an ulcer at the site of infection; however, the bacteria move
throughout the body, damaging many organs over time. Medical experts
describe the course of the disease by dividing it into four stages –
primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary (late). An infected person
who has not been treated may infect others during the first two
stages, which usually last one to two years. In its late stages,
untreated syphilis, although not contagious, can cause serious heart
abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, other neurologic
problems, and death. (Source: excerpt from Syphilis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Syphilis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)
The first symptom of primary syphilis is an ulcer called
a chancre ("shan-ker"). The chancre can appear within 10 days to
three months after exposure, but it generally appears within two
to six weeks. Because the chancre may be painless and may occur
inside the body, it may go unnoticed. It usually is found on the
part of the body exposed to the partner’s ulcer, such as the
penis, the vulva, or the vagina. A chancre also can develop on the
cervix, tongue, lips, or other parts of the body. The chancre
disappears within a few weeks whether or not a person is treated.
If not treated during the primary stage, about one-third of people
will progress to chronic stages.
Secondary syphilis is often marked by a skin rash that
is characterized by brown sores about the size of a penny. The
rash appears anywhere from three to six weeks after the chancre
appears. While the rash may cover the whole body or appear only in
a few areas, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are
almost always involved. Because active bacteria are present in
these sores, any physical contact – sexual or nonsexual – with the
broken skin of an infected person may spread the infection at this
stage. The rash usually heals within several weeks or months.
Other symptoms also may occur, such as mild fever, fatigue,
headache, sore throat, as well as patchy hair loss, and swollen
lymph glands throughout the body. These symptoms may be very mild
and, like the chancre of primary syphilis, will disappear without
treatment. The signs of secondary syphilis may come and go over
the next one to two years.
If untreated, syphilis may lapse into a latent stage
during which the disease is no longer contagious and no symptoms
are present. Many people who are not treated will suffer no
further consequences of the disease. Approximately one-third of
those who have secondary syphilis, however, go on to develop the
complications of late, or tertiary, syphilis, in which the
bacteria damage the heart, eyes, brain, nervous system, bones,
joints, or almost any other part of the body. This stage can last
for years, or even for decades. Late syphilis, the final stage,
can result in mental illness, blindness, other neurologic
problems, heart disease, and death. (Source: excerpt from Syphilis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Syphilis: NWHIC (Excerpt)
The first symptom of primary syphilis is a sore called a chancre
("shan-ker"), which can appear within 10 days to 3 months after exposure.
Chancres usually develop on the part of the body exposed to the bacteria,
such as the penis, the vulva, or the vagina, as well as the cervix,
tongue, lips, or other parts of the body. Because the chancre is
ordinarily painless and sometimes occurs inside the body, it may go
unnoticed. The next stage of syphilis is marked by a skin rash that
appears anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks after the chancre appears, sometimes
accompanied by symptoms like mild fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat,
as well as patchy hair loss, and swollen lymph glands throughout the
body. (Source: excerpt from Syphilis: NWHIC)
More Symptoms of Syphilis:
More detailed symptom information may be found on the symptoms of Syphilis article.
In addition to the above medical information, to get a full picture
of the possible signs or symptoms of this condition
and also possibly the signs and symptoms of its related medical conditions,
it may be necessary to examine symptoms
that may be
Medical articles on signs and symptoms:
These general reference articles may be related
to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:
What are the signs of Syphilis?
The phrase "signs of Syphilis" should, strictly speaking,
refer only to those signs and symptoms of Syphilis that are not readily apparent to the patient.
The word "symptoms of Syphilis" is the more general meaning; see symptoms of Syphilis.
The signs and symptom information on this page
attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Syphilis.
This medical information about signs and symptoms for Syphilis has been gathered
from various sources,
may not be fully accurate,
and may not be the full list of Syphilis signs or Syphilis symptoms.
Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Syphilis may vary on an individual basis for each patient.
Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they
are indeed Syphilis symptoms.
» Next page: Complications of Syphilis
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