Syphilis is a disease that is transmitted sexually causing long term complications. This ailment is caused by a bacterium called spirochete. Once a person is infected with syphilis, the incubation period begins and remains for around 21 days before any signs of this disease appear.
This disease usually has four stages and each is characterized by different symptoms. This infection may be active for some time and become inactive at other times.
You can experience the various symptoms of Syphilis only when the infection is active but this does not imply that you do not have syphilis when the infection is inactive. Most dangerously, even when you don’t experience any symptom of syphilis, yet you can pass this disease to another person.
Also, you need not have any sexual intercourse to get infected with syphilis, even getting close to the genitals, rectum or mouth of the person who is affected with syphilis can cause this disease. Some of the important symptoms of syphilis include chancre, rashes, sore throat and weakness.
Significant Symptoms of Syphilis
Chancre, the small, firm ulcers is the first sign of syphilis in the primary stage. It develops on that portion of the skin from where the bacteria enter the body. This area is mostly the penis in men and vagina in women. However, chancres can also develop on the tongue, cervix, lips or any other body parts.
There is usually only one chancre in the body but you may sometimes find more than one. It mostly appears after 3 weeks of the infection but it can develop between 9 – 90 days after you have been infected with syphilis. A chancre is painless and mostly appears inside the body, so it becomes difficult for you to notice it.
It often disappears in 3-6 weeks even if you don’t get any treatment. When syphilis in the primary stage goes untreated, then the infection reaches to the next stage.
Rashes are mostly observed in the secondary stage of syphilis. The rash appears as reddish-brown but it is not itchy. They are not always same in their appearance, as some are flat where as others could be raised. Some of them appear to be scaly but others may or may not be the same.
The rashes can be present for few weeks or even months. They mostly appear on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. But, when left untreated, it can cover the whole body that usually appears after 2-10 weeks of appearance of chancre.
Sore throat is also a common symptom of syphilis. It can be observed in the second stage of the syphilis. It can get severe and painful when left untreated. Most of the times, rashes and sore throat come along together, making it more difficult to manage.
Hair loss is also one of the main symptoms of syphilis. In this ailment, patchy hair loss occurs in the eyebrow, scalp and eyelashes. Though hair loss can occur due to many reasons but if you notice significant amount of hair loss along with other syphilis symptoms like fever, sore throat and rashes, then you should understand that you are suffering from syphilis.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph node is one of the main signs of syphilis. You may observe swollen lymph glands when a person is infected with syphilis.
In syphilis, you may observe acute weakness and headache causing a lot of discomfort. It may also bring along sudden weight loss and irritability due to lack of energy.