Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis is commonly known as ‘the great imitator’ because it has so many possible symptoms which are just the same with symptoms of other diseases. For this reason, a syphilis infection may sometimes be very difficult to identify.

Syphilis occurs in four different stages with different symptoms.

  • syphilis symptomsPrimary Stage: The primary symptom shown at this stage is a single or multiple sores. The sore, also called a chancre is noticeably firm, round and small. It is found in the area where the bacteria first entered the body. It usually appears in the genitals but can also be found in the cervix, tongue, lips, and in any other part of the body. Chancres are painless and may stay in the body for three to six weeks whether the patient has taken necessary medications or not. Although the chancres may heal on its own, the infected person must take medications so that the infection will not develop to the secondary stage.
  • Secondary Stage: Once the syphilis infection moves to the secondary stage, the infected person develops skin rash that does not itch. These rashes are mostly present in the palms of the hand and soles of the feet but can spread to the entire body of the patient. Two to ten weeks after the disappearance ofchancres, these skin rashes appear. Other symptoms that may occur are:
    • sore throat
    • fever
    • muscle aches
    • fatigue
    • headache
    • swollen lymph nodes
    • hair and weight loss

Just like primary syphilis, the secondary stage of syphilis can heal on its own without medication. The difference between the two is that the second stage can recur. Without treatment, the secondary stage can develop to the latent stage.

  • Latent Stage: In this stage, all the symptoms go away. The bacteria Treponema pallidum can stay dormant in the body for years, but the infection can still be transmitted to a person’s sexual partner. If the infected person remains untreated in this stage, the syphilis can possibly develop into the tertiary stage and lead to serious health problems.
  • Tertiary or Late Stage: The last stage of syphilis mostly happens after a decade or more after the primary infection. In this stage, the bacteria will harm almost any organ and organ system. The most common symptoms that appear in the tertiary stage are:
    • Numbness of the body
    • Paralysis
    • Blindness
    • Mental disorder

People who are in the primary and secondary stages of syphilis are more capable of transmitting the syphilis infection to their sex partners.

If you experience any symptoms of syphilis, request for a Syphilis Test or order a 10-panel comprehensive STD test now.