What Are The Syphilis Symptoms?

You're reading What Are The Syphilis Symptoms?, posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 4:29 am in Syphilis, on BrainBloggers at the Stay Healthy blog. More after the jump.

Before knowing the symptoms of syphilis, one should have a basic idea of what this disease is? It is basically a sexually transmitted disease which is caused by bacteria named spirochaete bacterium known as Treponema pallidum and can affect people of both sexes. It has gained a reputation or more appropriately it is notorious of being “the great imitator” because most of the syphilis symptoms resemble the symptoms of other diseases. This is the reason why diagnosing this disease is so difficult. It is also contagious and can pass through intimate sexual contact. Women who are expecting may pass on the infection to the yet-to-be-born child.

The syphilis may pass through 3 distinct stages. There are possibilities that not all 3 of these stages may be observed, one after the other. The phases are listed below and along with them; the syphilis symptoms are listed too:

1)Primary stage- It usually starts with a sore at the site of the infection. This sore is popularly called shanker. It is in the form of a lesion which may appear on the male or the female genitals although all parts of the body are equally at risk. Any person who touches the infection lesion may end up with an infection. It can develop after a month after the first appearance and heals after 1 week. Though the sores may vanish, the disease does not.

2)Secondary stage- The secondary phase develops after a month after the first appearance of chancre. The phase has numerous symptoms, which is the reason why syphilis has the, unflattering name of “the great pretender”. Due to this reason, this phase may go without treatment. These are the most frequently reported symptoms of the phase:

Joint fever

Muscle aches


Flu-like symptoms


Whole body rash

Patchy hair loss

Decreased appetite

Swollen lymph nodes

3)Latent phase- This phase is characterized by relapse of the secondary phase of the syphilis. After two years of the latent phase one may not have symptoms and may be completely cured. However one can still transmit infection through blood transfusion. One third people will progress from latent syphilis to tertiary one. During this phase, parts of the body such as brain, skin, bones and the heart are at risk.

4)Tertiary Syphilis- The syphilis symptoms of this stage depends on which part of the body the infection spreads to. For instance, it may spread to nerves, eyes, brain, bones, blood vessels or skin. It can cause the following symptoms:




loss of coordination




skin rashes

heart diseases

As soon as the symptoms of syphilis are observed, one is required to visit their physician. He/she will check for signs of the disease such as skin rashes or chancre. A blood sample will be taken and that is analyzed. The treatment and the prescription depends on the stage of the disease.

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