Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Last Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Change Language

Syphilis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

About Stages Signs Transmission Treatment Complications Prevention Home remedies

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria. This first sign of this deadly sexually transmitted infection is just a small, painless sore, which people fail to notice right away. This sore, which is medically known as chancre can appear in your rectum, in the sexual organ or even inside the mouth.

What are the stages of syphilis?

There are four stages of syphilis called Primary, secondary, latent and Tertiary syphilis.

  • Primary stage: It occurs 3-4 weeks after contact with the bacteria. The disease starts as a small, round sore called chancre which is painless but highly infectious. This sore/s may appear in the genitals, mouth and or rectum. The sore remains for about 6 weeks.
  • Secondary stage: In this stage, the person may develop with skin rashes and a sore throat. The rashes may be found in the palm, soles and it will not be itchy. Fever, weight loss, fatigue, joints ache, headaches are other symptoms.
  • Latent stage: This is otherwise called a “Hidden Stage”. The symptoms of primary and secondary stages disappear, and no noticeable symptoms can be seen in this stage. However, the bacteria will remain in the body and this stage may prolong for years before it progresses to the tertiary stage.
  • Tertiary stage: This is the final stage of syphilis that can develop after a decade of initial infection. This is the dreadful stage. Memory loss, hearing loss, mental illness, blindness, meningitis, stroke, cardiac disease, and neurosyphilis are the potential outcomes of this stage.

What are the early signs of syphilis?

Syphilis spread through sexual contact and the major culprit for syphilis is a bacterial infection, the name of the bacteria is Treponema pallidum. The disease begins as a painless sore normally in the genitals, rectum. The disease is contagious through the skin or mucus membrane contact with such sores. Based on the stages, syphilis signs and symptoms vary.

  • In the primary stage, the visible, small and painless sores are seen. The lymph nodes can be noted nearby the enlarged groins.
  • In the secondary stage, the person may notice sores in the vagina, anus, mouth, skin rashes, fever, hair loss, weight loss, headache, fatigue, muscle aches.
  • Tertiary syphilis is considered as the most severe stage in which numbness, deafness, dementia, cardiac disease, stroke, brain and spinal membrane infections, aneurysm, and blood vessel inflammation.

The babies may experience bone abnormalities, jaundice, enlarged liver, neurological issues, and nose discharge when affected by syphilis.

How syphilis transmitted?

Syphilis is transmitted from individual to individual by direct contact with chancre which is a syphilitic sore. These chancres can create nearby the outside organs, around the butt, in the vagina or in the rectum or in and around the mouth.

During vaginal, anal or oral sex, the syphilis transmission can occur. When a pregnant woman has syphilis, she can transmit the condition to the unborn child. So, it is better to go for an STD screening before getting conceived to avoid transmission to the child.

What are the treatments for syphilis?

Syphilis can be cured soon after early diagnosis. Every one of the stages are treated with anti-microbial penicillin that has the ability to kill the organisms’ that cause syphilis. If the patient is penicillin-allergic, then he/she may be treated with another antibiotic. A single penicillin dose can stop the progression of the disease if provided the patient is affected for less than a year.

If the patient suffers from syphilis for more than a year, he may need to take additional doses. If the condition left untreated, then it can damage the liver, heart, brain and nervous system. Syphilis can also lead to blindness and paralysis. It builds the opportunity of spreading HIV. This is deadly whenever left untreated.

What are the complications of syphilis?

As we already discussed, syphilis can damage the entire body if not treated. It also escalates the risk of HIV infection and might cause problems during pregnancy in women. Though treatments help in preventing future damage, the reversing of damage is not possible.

What are the ways for the prevention of syphilis?

Rehearsing safe sex is the most ideal method for avoiding syphilis. Using condoms during sexual play and additionally using a dental dam or condoms during oral sex, avoid sharing sex toys, go for STIs screening and sharing the results with your partner/s, avoiding needle sharing will help in preventing from syphilis.

It is better to avoid vaginal, anal and oral sex who is affected by syphilis. Using protective measures will lower the chances of getting an STD. Do get regular STD screens done is another way of preventing your health from syphilis. Using a single condom for every single sex will save you hugely from syphilis.

What are the home remedies for syphilis?

  • Tea tree oil: This is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent and the topical use of tea tree oil ease the pain associated with syphilis. Dilute the oil with almond oil or water and apply it on the infected area to see the best results.
  • Yogurt: Continue taking supplements with less processed foods and using lots of fresh foods to boost immunity and cut inflammation. Toxins can be flushed out by drinking enough water. Lactobacillus strains of Probiotics are good bacteria that boost immunity health. It prevents fungal, yeast and UTI infections.
  • Aloe Vera: This antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herb helps in hydrating skin and healing wounds. It also boosts up immunity and it is advised to take both gels for topical application and juice for drink. Aloe Vera helps to a greater extent in treating wounds and sores, scars cause.

Popular Questions & Answers

For few weeks I have been having itching on the head of my penis and now, some white rashes (diane in hindi) are visible. My wife was diagnosed with urine infection. What could be the possible cause of this?

MBBS, DDV, FCPS, APEX, Diplomat American Board of Sexology
HIV Specialist, Mumbai
Urine infection will not give this. This can be simple candida inf or an std. To better understand the importance of and risk and consequences of stds please take private consult with audio video chat and then I can guide you properly and tell you...

My mom (51 years) detected with skin tb. She has completed her intensive phase without any issue. But as soon as she started akt 3 (rifampicin, isoniazid and ethambutol) she started vomiting. This is her 4 month running. She vomits everyday. Can she stop the medicine?

M.D - Respiratory medicine / M.D Pulmonology
Pulmonologist, Mumbai
Hello, akt once started needs to be continued for 6 to 9 months. You could do a liver function test blood test just so as to see if akt has caused any hepatic disfunction which is a known side effect of akt and make sure she takes the tablets in 1...

Popular Health Tips

Bleeding Problems - Know The Common Types!

IVF Specialist, Raipur
Bleeding Problems - Know The Common Types!
Vaginal bleeding is a common phenomenon in women. Sometimes it is due to cyclical changes in the cycle, while other times, it may be indicative of something unnatural and perhaps severe. Abnormal vaginal bleeding includes: Heavy periods: This is a...
6572 people found this helpful

Infertility - A Social Stigma!

IVF Specialist, Raipur
Infertility - A Social Stigma!
Infertility is a condition that can be caused due to a variety of reasons, for both males as well as females. Yet, it also comes with plenty of emotional baggage because there is a great deal of social stigma attached to childless parents, especia...
6676 people found this helpful

Infertility - A Social Stigma!

IVF Specialist, Raipur
Infertility - A Social Stigma!
Infertility is a condition that can be caused due to a variety of reasons, for both males as well as females. Yet, it also comes with plenty of emotional baggage because there is a great deal of social stigma attached to childless parents, especia...
6542 people found this helpful

In Detail About Colorectal Disorders!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Advanced endoscopy, Fellowship in Endoscopic Ultrasound(EUS), Observer fellowship in NBI and ESD, Fellowship in Hepatology
Gastroenterologist, Bhopal
In Detail About Colorectal Disorders!
Problems of the large intestine are very common and patients should usually consult gastroenterologists for the proper diagnosis and treatment 1. Bleeding per rectum: Bleeding through the anal canal or rectum is usually the most common problem of ...
1297 people found this helpful

Pericarditis / Pericardial Effusion - Know More About It!

MD - Medicine, DNB Medicine, DNB - Cardiology (Gold Medalist)
Cardiologist, Ahmedabad
Pericarditis / Pericardial Effusion - Know More About It!
Pericardial effusion is the excess fluid between the heart and sac surrounding the heart. The fluid keeps the heart moving in the sac. The excess fluid can cause a problem in the workings of the heart and may lead to death. The space between two l...
1310 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Play video
Spondylodiscitis - Tuberculosis of Spine
Spondylodiscitis can be defined as a primary infection of the intervertebral disc, with secondary infections of the vertebrae (spondylitis), starting at the endplates. The spine is the most frequent location of musculoskeletal tuberculosis, and co...
Play video
What Is Tuberculosis?
Hello, I am Dr. Parthiv Atul Kumar Shah, Pulmonologist. Today I will talk about tuberculosis. So, the first thing comes to mind is what is tuberculosis? Tuberculosis is an infected disease. It can infect any part of the body except hair and nails....
Play video
Eye Diseases - Know About Them!
Hello, I am Dr. Leena Doshi. Today we are going to talk about certain eye diseases which cause either partial or complete blindness and how you can take measures to prevent it also a few pointers on that. As all of you know eyes are very precious ...
Play video
Know More About Infertility
Hello, Today we are going to discuss what exactly is infertility and what are the causes behind it? and basically in today's topic we are going to discuss the causes in women which are responsible for her being infertile or we call it subfertile. ...
Play video
How To Diagnose The Cause Of Infertility?
Hello, Today we are going to discuss the investigations which can be done to check what is the cause of infertility. Why some couples may be able to conceive very easily and others may struggle very hard to conceive a baby. So what are the tests w...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice