Syphilis Symptoms

The signs and symptoms for Syphilis are listed below:

1.Chancre - The chancre which is something like an ulcer can appear within 10 days to three months after exposure, but it generally appears within two to six weeks. It is a painless open sore. The sore has been described as feeling like a button, firm, round, usually measuring half-an-inch across, and not tender to the touch. The chancre of primary syphilis, will disappear without treatment.These ulcer like sores may be found as mentioned below:

a)Penis ulcer  found  anywhere on the penis.

b)Vaginal ulcer –May be outside the vagina on the vulva .

c)Internal vaginal ulcer inside the vaginal folds etc.

d)Cervix ulcer or ulcer  on the neck of the womb.

e)Hand /palms ulcer.

f)Mouth ulcers may be found .

g)Genital ulcer can be seen in any part of the genital areas/organs

h)Anal ulcer - less common than a genital  one.

i)They can also develop on the lips, tongue or rectum if these areas have been exposed to a syphilis chancre on another person during oral or anal sexual contact

2.Enlarged groin lymph nodes ,enlarged lymph nodes - all over the body are commonly seen.

3.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.

4.Some other symptoms include patchy hair loss, skin rashes, and a rash around the rectum. These rashes do not itch and exposure to these rashes can transmit syphilis to others

In  about a third of untreated patients  the following symptoms appear 3-6 weeks after the chancre.

5.A flu-like illness, a feeling of tiredness mild fever ,headache, sore throat etc occur .

6.Flat, warty-looking growths on the vulva in women and around the anus in both sexes.

7.White patches on the tongue or roof of the mouth.

8.Patchy hair loss is another important symptom.

9.Skin rash ,a non-itchy rash covers the whole body or appears in patches.

Often a skin rash that is characterized by brown sores about the size of a penny is seen. 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.

10.Wart-like lumps may be found around the anus rectum etc.

11.Mouth lining rash which may be painful is also seen.

12.Rash on palms of hand  on soles of feet  on chest  etc are also common.

13.Loss of appetite is a common complaint.

14.Muscle aches may be another symptom.

15.Tiredness is commonly felt.

16.Patchy hair loss also occurs in most cases.

17.Swollen and painful lymph glands are a common complaint.Underarm nodes,swollen groin lymph nodes  swollen neck lymph nodes can be seen in many cases.

Syphilis bacteria frequently invade the nervous system during the early stages of infection, and approximately 3 to 7 percent of persons with untreated syphilis develop neurosyphilis.

18. Some persons with neurosyphilis never develop any symptoms. Others may have headache, stiff neck, and fever that result from an inflammation of the lining of the brain.

19.Some patients develop seizures. Patients whose blood vessels are affected may develop symptoms of stroke with resulting numbness, weakness, or visual complaints.

20.Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin may occur, but the nodes are not usually tender either.

21.Some may have headache, stiff neck, fever and seizures.

22.Stroke-like symptoms and paralysis too may occur in some patients.

23.Numbness  and weakness of hands and legs also can happen.

24.Visual problems are another important part of syphilis patients.

25.The mucous membranes of mouth nose etc become  sore in some cases.

26. Weight loss and loss of hair in patches is a common complaint.

27.Rash on palms and soles,some times red rashes rough rashes and reddish brown spots  may occur too.

If the infection is not treated at this point then it will progress to the secondary stage.

From the primary stage the disease moves into the secondary stage of syphilis. Secondary syphilis can often occur several weeks after the chancre heals, once the bacteria have spread through the body.

28. The patient may feel sick' common symptoms include headache, aches and pains, loss of appetite and maybe rash.

29.The rash in secondary syphilis is usually reddish-brown in color, not itchy and widespread. However, the appearance of the rash's individual lesions can vary dramatically: they may be flat or raised; they may or may not be scaly; and there may or may not be pustules present.The rash

can last for a few weeks or months.

30.Other symptoms of secondary syphilis include sores in the mouth, nose, throat, and on the genitals or folds of the skin.

31. Lymph node swelling is common and patchy hair loss can occur.

All the signs and symptoms of the second stage of syphilis will disappear without treatment in 3 weeks to 9 months, but the infection will still be present in the body.

Those who have secondary syphilis, however, go on to develop the complications of late, or tertiary, syphilis.

The next stage of syphilis, which occurs in about one third of those who are not treated, is known as the tertiary stage. About one third of cases progress to tertiary syphilis .

32.Common symptoms include fever; painful, non-healing skin ulcers; bone pain; liver disease; and anemia.

33.Tertiary syphilis can also affect the nervous system which may result in the loss of mental functioning and may damage the  the aorta resulting in heart disease.

34.The symptoms also  include multiple non-cancerous tumors like skin tumors, muscle tumors, bone tumors brain tumors, spinal cord tumors, heart tumors ,liver tumors  and  stomach tumors .

35.If  untreated Internal organs  may suffer  damage as mentioned below

36.The patients will display progressive blindness , dementia ,blood vessel damage  , brain damage , nerve damage,  liver damage, bone damage, joint damage and , eye damage.

37.They may also experience uncoordinated muscle movement, paralysis and  numbness.

After severe progression of tertiary syphilis ,patients go on to the late stages

38.  Late syphilis, the final stage, can result in mental illness, blindness, other neurologic problems, heart disease, and death.

Compiled by Vijaya Kurup
Article 6/75.
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