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Syphilis Symptoms

Symptoms of Syphilis

Syphilis follows four stages of development in the body: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. Symptoms of syphilis change according to the stage of the disease:

Ulcers, called chancre, appear in the body. This usually happens within two to six weeks, but it can happen as early as ten days to three months. Chancre may be painless or happen within the body, it may be unnoticed. Chancres tend to show in genital areas (vagina, vulva, penis), tongue, lips, and cervix (opening to womb). Chancres disappear without treatment, but the disease is not gone. Is moving within the body. At this stage, it is highly contagious to others.

A skin rash with brown spots develops. The rash happens around three to six weeks after the chancre. The rash can cover certain areas or the entire body. The rash usually affects the palms of the hands and feet soles. Other symptoms include: mild fever, tiredness, headache, sore throat, hair loss, muscle pains, weight loss, and swollen glands through the body. These signs can come and go for up to two years. At this stage, it is still highly contagious to others.

No symptoms show at this stage. If a person is treated, no other complications will occur. But, if a person is not treated for syphilis, the disease will continue to develop silently for up to several years, without the person knowing he or she still has it. The disease will move into internal organs throughout the body, affecting the brain, heart, liver, bones, joints, eyes, nerves, blood vessels, or almost every body part. At this stage, the disease is no longer contagious.

After the body has been damaged silently during the latent stage, the tertiary stage or late syphilis. The damage in the body begins to show. At this point, syphilis causes mental illness, blindness, neurologic problems, heart disease, and even death. Some of the signs include not being able to coordinate muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, blindness, and dementia.

In The Know: STI Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In the Know: STI Pamphlet Package