Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis has been called the “great imitator,” as its symptoms can be similar to those of other infections. The infection can be quite serious if left untreated and can cause long-term or permanent complications, so early testing is critical if you feel you may have been exposed. The symptoms of syphilis occur in stages:

Symptoms of Syphilis:

Early Syphilis Symptoms in Women:

  • Painless sore at or near the site of infection
  • Skin rash, most prominently on hands and feet
  • Fever
  • Swollen and tender glands
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain/soreness

Early Syphilis Symptoms in Men:

  • Sore at or near the site of infection
  • Skin rash most prominent on hands and feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red or brown skin sores
  • Open sores
  • Sores that contain pus

Later Syphilis Symptoms in Women:

  • Loss of balance/coordination
  • Change in vision
  • Paralysis
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Neurological disorders
  • Brain damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye damage
  • Heart damage
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Liver damage
  • Bone damage
  • Joint damage

Later Syphilis Symptoms in Men:

  • Throat pain
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Swollen glands
  • Neck pain
  • Change in pupil size/appearance
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Paralysis
  • Large sores on or in the body
  • Change in vision/blindness
  • Neurological disorders
  • Heart problems
  • Blood vessel problems

Transmission of Syphilis:

Syphilis is spread through direct contact with a syphilis sore and can be transmitted through intercourse of any kind. This includes anal, oral and vaginal intercourse.

Type of Test for Diagnosis

A blood sample is required to diagnose syphilis. The test is fast and relatively pain free.

Treatment Options

Syphilis is easily treated through a course of antibiotics if diagnosed early. In the later stages of infection, syphilis is still treatable; however, there is a greater risk of permanent damage having already been done to the body. That’s why early detection of the disease is so critical to your health.



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