What You Should Know About Syphilis

Posted by Michael Hood-Julien on Apr 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM


As a part of STD prevention, let's investigate the basic symptoms, who's at risk, and how to prevent contracting six common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Today, we will discuss the Syphilis and Trichomoniasis

Preventing Syphilis

Syphilis is an infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum that has four different stages. Although syphilis is curable in its early stages with antibiotics, the disease's oft-silent symptoms mimic a number of other less-troubling diseases. Syphilis is spread through direct contact with a syphilis sore, which can be found through skin abrasions or mucous membranes in the mouth or genital area. 
  • At about two to three weeks after exposure to T. pallidum, an painless, small, round, and firm ulcer is called a chancre appears up at the very place where the bacterium entered the body. It usally goes away in about three to six weeks.

  • About two to three months after exposure, the second phase begins with a nonitchy skin rash on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or other areas of the body. Symptoms mimic the flu and include swollen lymph glands, a sore throat, fatigue, and headaches. Other signs may include weight loss, hair loss, aching joints, and lesions in the mouth or genital area.

  • The third phase occurs months after exposure. Though there usually are not visible symptoms during this latent stage,  the infection can be diagnosed with blood tests.

  • In the last phase of syphilis, the bacteria causes irreversible damage to the brain, eyes, heart, nervous system, bones, joints, and other parts of the body. This can result in mental illness, blindness, deafness, heart disease, brain damage, or spinal cord damage. 

  • Young adults are at the highest risk of contracting syphilis. In rare cases, the infection also can be passed from mother to infant through the placenta during pregnancy, causing a disease known as congenital syphilis.

  • If you have a bothersome bump or a suspicious sore, consult your physician. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to attack syphilis. 

  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis to prevent congenital syphilis. Syphilis can cause miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, or death of newborn babies. Infants who contract congenital syphilis can have deformities, developmental delays, or seizures. Infants may develop problems of late-stage syphilis, including damage to bones, teeth, eyes, ears, and the brain.

Did you learn anything about Syphilis? Let us know in the comment section below! Let us know in the comment section below!



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Topics: Health & Wellness Tips