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Diseases » Syphilis » Signs
 

Signs of Syphilis

Symptoms of Syphilis

The list of medical symptoms mentioned in various sources for Syphilis may include:

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 caused by:

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.

 

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