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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Syphilis: Can This Sexually Transmitted Disease be Cured?

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Dr. Pradeep AggarwalAesthetic Medicine Specialist • 15 Years Exp.MBBS, PGDUS, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine, Advance Course In Diabetes - USA, MD - Medicine
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Syphilis is a contagious disease that is sexually transmitted through oral or anal sex. The disease can even be passed from one person to another through kissing for a long time or through physical contact. A pregnant woman is at a high risk of passing the disease to her newborn which can cause abnormalities and even death of the baby. It is caused by the bacteria treponema pallidum.

Symptoms of syphilis

  1. Primary stage: the symptoms of syphilis are visible within three weeks which appears as a single and painless sore on the penis or inside vagina and rectum.
  2. Secondary stage: in the secondary stage, the symptoms manifest themselves as red or brown spots visible on soles of feet or palms of hand. They can be accompanied by fever, headache, swollen glands, fatigue and hair loss in patches.
  3. Latent stage: in this stage, a person has no symptoms but the infection is still present in the body.
  4. Late stage: this stage occurs 10-20 years after a person had first contracted syphilis. In this stage, the organs are severely damaged, including heart, brain and nervous system. It can cause paralysis or even death.

Can this condition be cured?

With a single dose of the antibiotic penicillin, syphilis is easily curable in its early stage. If the condition persists for over a year, additional doses might be required. It should be treated early to prevent further complications. There are other options for patients who are allergic to penicillin. Until the sore or rash heals completely, after the treatment of syphilis, you should abstain from having sex. If syphilis is left untreated, some severe and permanent damage can be triggered by it, including blindness, dementia or even death.


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