Secondary Syphilis – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments you should know. Furthermore, Secondary Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are four stages of the disease: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary (also known as neurosyphilis). Primary syphilis is the first stage of the disease. It causes one or more small, painless sores around the genitals, anus, or mouth.
If you don’t get treatment for the primary stage of the disease, it can progress to the second stage, which is Secondary Syphilis . If left untreated, the disease will likely progress to the latent stage, and may even progress to the tertiary stage.
The secondary stage of syphilis is curable with medical treatment. It is important to get treatment to prevent the disease from progressing to the tertiary stage, which may not be curable and can cause damage to your organs, as well as dementia (memory loss), paralysis, or even death.
How Secondary Syphilis Is Transmitted: Syphilis is caused by a spirochete (a backbone-shaped bacterium) called Treponema pallidum. You can get the bacteria in the following ways:
Symptoms of Secondary Syphilis: Primary syphilis usually presents as a single pain. This sore usually appears three weeks after the initial infection, but it can show up as early as 10 days or up to 90 days. This sore, called a chancre, is small, firm, round, and painless. It appears at the original site of infection, usually the mouth, anus, or genitals. You may not even realize it.
If you do not receive treatment during this initial appearance of symptoms, the bacteria that caused this STI will spread through your bloodstream, and you will soon have Secondary Syphilis .
Symptoms of Secondary Syphilis develop two to eight weeks after the first person becomes infected with Secondary Syphilis . The secondary stage is usually marked by a non-significant rash.
The rash can be confined to one part of your body, or it can spread to multiple parts. The appearance of the rash varies. A common manifestation is rough, reddish-brown patches on the bottoms of your feet and on the palms of your hands.
Other symptoms of Secondary Syphilis include:
- Sore throat ;
- fever ;
- swollen lymph glands;
- Headaches ;
- fatigue ;
- Muscle aches ;
- Wart patches around skin folds or genitals;
- Loss of appetite ;
- Joint pain ;
- Enlarged lymph nodes.
How Secondary Syphilis is Diagnosed: To diagnose Secondary Syphilis , your doctor will want to do a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. If you have sores, your doctor may use a microscope to examine you. The syphilis bacteriawill appear under the microscope – this technique is known as a dark field microscope.
Testing your blood with a rapid plasma recovery test (RPR) is also a reliable and inexpensive way for your doctor to determine if you have syphilis . Your body makes antibodies, proteins that try to fight infections, in response to infections and foreign invaders. If the blood test reveals these syphilis antibodies , you have been infected with syphilis . The RPR test is important for pregnant women, as undiagnosed syphilis can be transmitted to the fetus and can be fatal to the baby.
Secondary Syphilis Treatment: Secondary Syphilis can not be cured by over-the-counter treatments or home remedies. If caught early, however, you’ll only need a shot of penicillin. If you’ve had STIs for a long time, multiple doses will be needed.
People with penicillin allergies may use other antibiotics, such as doxycycline or tetracycline. Penicillin is the best drug if a person is pregnant, however, since other antibiotics can harm your developing baby or fail to protect them from syphilis .
Antibiotics will kill the syphilis bacteria and prevent it from harming your body.
Common antibiotics used include:
- Benzathine Penicillin G
However, antibiotics cannot repair damage that has already occurred. If you are receiving treatment for syphilis , do not have sex until your sores have completely healed and you have completed your antibiotic treatment. Let your sexual partner know about your condition so they too can get help and avoid spreading the infection.
Without treatment, Secondary Syphilis will likely continue to progress. It could be 10 or 20 years before you experience the worst effects. Eventually, untreated syphilis will lead to damage to the brain, eyes, heart, nerves, bones, joints, and liver. You can also become paralyzed, blind or deranged.